Bread quality testing

Bread quality testing - Looking at cell structure and assessing texture, as indicators of bread quality.

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Differences between individual loaves, their structure and physical characteristics, are clear to consumers and particularly to expert bakers. However, one of the areas that we have worked on has been developing objective methods of characterizing bread structure.

One of the most important in recent years has been C-Cell, an instrument based on image analysis, which allows us to objectively characterize the individual structure of a given loaf. Loaves are sliced in a particular way using a rotary slicer to ensure a very, very flat upper surface.

The C-Cell cabinet allows the bread to be placed in a drawer, which is then illuminated and an image taken. This image is then analyzed, and that analysis allows us to use very clear objective characteristics related to the cell structure, and the overall shape of that individual slice of bread.

Another important element is the overall softness of bread. And again, an objective technique called Texture Profile Analysis is used to characterize the softness. In addition, it also gives us information about the resilience of a particular loaf. That is always important in relation to the butter-ability of a particular slice of bread.

In this example, the analysis allows for two compressions of the individual slices. And from that, all of the information in relation to softness and resilience may be derived.

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