How to Measure Gel Strength
GEL STRENGTH is a measure of the ability of a colloidal dispersion to develop and retain a gel form. In the gelatine world, gel strength is traditionally referred to as Bloom. It is the force, expressed in grams, necessary to depress by 4mm the surface of a gelatine gel with a standard 0.5" diameter cylinder probe.
Whilst gels are commonly accepted in the food industry, the measurement of gel strength is also of widespread interest in the manufacture of pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic products. Gel properties such as elasticity and rupture force of, for example, pectin, gelatine, agar etc. are important in the development of such products as coronary stents where hydrogel polymers are selected due to their soft, rubbery nature which gives them a strong, superficial resemblance to living, soft tissue.
Other products for which gel-forming properties are useful are in the manufacture of wound dressings, jelly lubricants, contact lenses, suppositories, soft gel capsules and bacterial growth media. The strength of gels can also be utilised in products such as toothpaste, creams and pastilles to modify the consistency of the required end product.
Typical properties that can be obtained from a texture analyser graph:
Gel strength, Bloom strength, force to rupture, elasticity
Typical Texture Analyser graph with annotated properties of gel bloom strength test
Typical Probe/Fixture used for Measurement:
Hemispherical Probe >>
Cylinder Probes >>
The above are only typical examples of gel strength measurement. We can, of course, design and manufacture probes or fixtures that are bespoke to your sample and its specific measurement.
Once your measurement is performed, our expertise in its graphical interpretation is unparalleled – no-one understands texture analysis like we do. Not only can we develop the most suitable and accurate method for the testing of your sample, but we can prepare analysis procedures that obtain the desired parameters from your curve and drop them into a spreadsheet or report designed around your requirements.
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