The structural properties of the final product are very important to snack and other extruded food manufacturers. However, there are few practical techniques available to link the process and ingredient changes with structural and textural effects.
A new higher magnification version of the popular C-Cell imaging system can now be used to quantify the cellular changes within extruded products. Samples can be prepared to analyse both transverse and longitudinal planes.
Research has demonstrated how image analysis using a modified version of C-Cell can be used to link process and ingredient changes with structural and textural effects. Extrudates with cross sectional area down to 130mm² were measured.
Results show a direct relationship between the size distribution of cells in the structure and variations in the process and recipe conditions. Further comparisons can be made between the transverse and longitudinal expansion for the different method could be established for extruded products for use in process and quality control as well as research and product development.