Structure and physical properties of foods

Structure and physical properties of foods

Physical properties of food are aspects such as colour, structure, texture, rheology and interfacial properties, and composition. We have a range of instrumental methods for objectively characterising and measuring food structure and physical properties. These are useful for applications such as new product development, benchmarking, reformulation and specification.


Consistent and accurate measurements of the colour and visual appearance of food products is extremely important. Various methods are available for colour measurement, allowing a wide variety of sample types to be measured. Colour measurement results are typically provided on the CIELAB scale. Others are available on request.


The structure of food influences texture. Examples include porous products such as aerated foods and bakery products where the bubble structure affects softness, and starch-based snacks where it affects crispiness.

Food structure analysis using X-ray micro-CT

X-ray micro-CT offers non-destructive imaging and structure measurement in 3D. Images and movies showing the internal structure of products can be generated. Measurements of porosity, bubble size distribution and structure thickness (wall size) can be performed.


Food texture is an important sensory attribute as it affects the way food tastes and how it feels in the mouth. The texture depends on the rheological properties of the food and evaluation involves measuring the response of a food when it is subjected to forces such as cutting, shearing, chewing, compressing or stretching.

Rheology and interfacial properties

The rheological properties of food materials are important in determining the texture as well as how they behave physically when subjected to physical forces and forced to flow. The rheological properties of raw materials, intermediate products such as batters and doughs as well as final products can be studied.

Thermal analysis

Thermal analysis techniques measure the physical and chemical properties of foods as a function of temperature or time.

Compositional mapping

Many food products have a non uniform distribution of composition. For example, fried products have a higher fat content near surfaces, and baked products have a higher moisture content in the centre of the product. Compositional mapping techniques allow these gradients to be measured and visualised.

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Where we refer to UKAS Accreditation

The Campden BRI group companies listed below are both accredited in accordance with the recognised International Standard ISO17025:2017 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The accreditation demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope of methods, specific to each site, as detailed in the schedules of accreditation bearing the testing laboratory number. The schedules may be revised from time to time and reissued by UKAS. The most recent issue of the schedules are available from the UKAS website

Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) Limited is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1079 Campden BRI (Nutfield) is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1207

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