Future Developments

TPA parameters depend on experimental conditions; compression rate, temperature, sample size, and nature of the

Figure 9. Instron TPA curve for cheddar cheese.

platen surfaces. These conditions have not been standardized between laboratories and, until they are, it will remain difficult to compare TPA data obtained by different investigators. Such standardization is an urgent need.

In recent years, significant progress has been made in correlating sensory and objective evaluation of food rheol-ogy; the texts cited in the bibliography all include information on sensory-instrument correlation. Much work is still needed in this area. The effects of temperature, composition, and other variables on food rheology can be extremely complicated, and consequently have not been extensively investigated. Work is needed in this area, especially with the objective of drawing general conclusions that can be applied to a variety of foods.

Rheological instruments for in-line measurement and control of food processes are generally not completely satisfactory. Instruments are needed in this area, particularly to handle non-Newtonian, viscoelastic systems, and the influence on results caused by temperature variations. Such instrumentation must be designed to permit measurement of complex rheological properties that will be consistent with the processing or sensory conditions of interest, and to comply with good manufacturing practice regulations.

Correlations between food rheology and microstructure and molecular interactions have rarely been entirely successful. Rheological behavior and microstructure are expressions of molecular and structural organization within a food that should be further explored by these methodologies to address both fundamental and applied challenges in food science. This is an area that should receive more attention.

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