September 16, 2019

Quick viscosity measurements for production: Universal compact solution for quality control

by Brabender, Germany

End consumers have certain quality expectations for products which producers need to live up to. Viscosity measurements for raw materials and end products are analyses which need to be performed rapidly and reliably in the production process.

For this purpose, the laboratory equipment manufacturer Brabender from Duisburg has developed the new ViscoQuick. Jessica Wiertz and Ulrike Ito from the Application Lab Food introduced the device in an interview.

Viscosity measurements are of key importance in many sectors, such as the food industry in the case of starch and starch-containing products. Why are they so important?
Ulrike Ito (UI): Measuring viscosity is necessary in order to control the quality of raw materials, to optimise and monitor the production process, and of course also for the final inspection of the finished product.

This ensures that only the best raw materials are used and that complaints are minimised. Malfunctions and the resulting losses in production also need to be avoided. In addition, they are also used to develop products and production processes.

Which factors influence viscosity and, hence, the processing chain?
UI: Natural products such as starch are subject to natural fluctuations, which depend on their type and variety, as well as their cultivation and weather conditions. Depending on their individual properties, they have a differing level of suitability for certain uses.

Further on in the processing chain, temperature, quantity, heating and cooling rates, as well as shear forces acting on them, play a big role. By determining product-specific viscosity curves, the properties can be controlled and processes optimised.

Jessica Wiertz (JW): In order to determine the best possible use of a raw material and analyse its quality, the gelatinisation properties of starches and starch-containing materials are examined. When processing flours, the effect of raw material-specific enzyme activity on the gelatinisation process is also analysed. It is also decisive for the processing properties of the flour and has a huge impact on the result after baking.

Read more HERE.

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