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RM200 Rheometers for Food Industry Applications

The rheological properties of food products are key for determining instability mechanisms that may impact their texture or flavour, texture, and shelf life. Often these characteristics are assessed using viscometers, which determine the viscosity of products with fluidic properties under pre-defined experiment conditions. This is a limited method when it comes to testing products of complex mechanical structures, such as localised heterogeneities.

Rheometers are preferential for acquiring more robust rheology measurements from products displaying distinct viscoelasticity, strain-dependent thixotropy, and unique thermomechanical decomposition behaviour. Yoghurt, for example, can be challenging to characterize through viscometry measurements alone.

RM 200, Meritics, Lamy Rheology, Rheometer

This blog post explores the use of rheometers in food industry applications.

Complex Rheology of Yoghurt

The RM200 Plus Rheometer is the comprehensive solution for rheological measurements in food industry applications. It boasts a high-capacity storage and simple programming procedures to enable rapid determination of sample rheology, including thixotropy and yield point. Flow curves can be measured independently of additional computing equipment, with internal memorization and subsequent data transfer capabilities. This ensures that a limitless range of rheological parameters can be calculated and saved within a local data storage.

Rheometers typically measure the flow or creeping characteristics of viscous and viscoelastic materials in response to pre-determined levels of shear force. This is applied by probing the surface of the sample with a rotating spindle and measuring the resultant mechanical response. The RM200 Plus Rheometer enables tight control of imposed speeds across a broad range of both speed (0.3 – 1500 rpm) and torque (0.05 – 30 mNm), with an accuracy of within 1% of the entire scale. It is also equipped with an accurate PT100 thermal sensor that can indicate sample temperature between -50° – 300°C, providing broader measurement data for thermally-sensitive samples.

The RM200 Plus Rheometer has been widely applied to measure the varied properties of commercial and industrial samples, including their plastic viscosity and flow limit, alongside regression models according to Newton, Bingham, Casson, and Ostwald. These capabilities have demonstrable applications for food, care and personal, and paint products, with unique considerations for the matrix effects of distinct products.

The RM200 Plus Rheometer has been used to assess the rheological properties of non-blended yoghurt that adopted a gelatinous surface texture at rest. This local heterogeneity complicated the use of a standard cylindrical spindle for analysing the product. A bladed spindle was substituted, and the rheology measured in extremely slow increments of shear rate progression. Two flow curves were measured using each of the spindles, with widely varying results. This demonstrated the importance of measurement geometry in rheological studies, alongside the necessity for versatile measuring equipment.

Rheometers from Meritics

Meritics is the UK’s leading supplier of measurement instrumentation for a broad range of application areas. We supply benchtop rheometers with portable capabilities for quality control (QC) of end-products, deformulation, and research and development (R&D) into new product recipes.

If you would like any more information about the RM200 Plus Rheometer for food industry applications, please do not hesitate to contact us.