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Bakery and Confectionery Products Sensory Testing

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Bakery and confectionery products are an important part of the food industry and they are in high demand.  Food testing of bakery and confectionery products is required to ensure their quality and acceptability for consumers.  A complete analysis would include testing bakery and confectionery products for adulteration, nutrition content, additives and labelling. However, one of the more important testing requirements is the sensory testing for bakery and confectionery products as they compromise popular products like ice-cream, chocolate, wafers, jelly products, chewing gum, biscuits, cakes, pastry, pickle, jam, sweets, etc.

Why sensory testing

Consumers have become very demanding about the quality of the bakery and confectionery products. Since it is a competitive niche market,quality of the product plays a big role in consumer acceptability and acceptability leads to increase in marketability.  Food testing laboratories carry out sensory quality for aroma, colour, texture, flavour and overall acceptance of the products.  Food industry undertakes sensory testing so that consumer acceptance rates reach high percentage values.

Sensory perception

Among bakery products bread is the most popular product and consumers have now begun to demand various types of bread. For producing quality bread you not only need quality ingredients but the entire bread preparation process is important. Sensory testing of bread involves understanding the sensory reactions to the properties of the various kinds of bread.  Food testing laboratories have developed various analysis techniques to understand how sensory properties of the bakery and confectionery products define product quality and consumer preference.

Texture is important

In bakery and confectionery products texture plays as important a role as aroma and flavour. Bakery and confectionery products must look attractive to consumers when eating but they must be produced in such a way that they retain their shape during handling, packaging and transport processes. Cakes for examples are tested by taking them on a long road journey to see if they hold on to their shape and do not crumble during transportation.  Each bakery and confectionery product has a recognisable texture which consumers except, like crispiness of biscuits. The textures must remain for the length of the shelf life and for this food testing laboratories assess the products at the manufacturing plant as well as during storage.

Various reasons for sensory testing

Food testing laboratories carry out testing of bakery and confectionery products so as to

  • Improve the products
  • Measure the success of any variations in the products
  • Development of new products, processes and addition of ingredients
  • Assessing shelf life and storage conditions like room temperature or refrigerated storage

Bakery and confectionery manufacturers undertake sensory testing so that they can understand what consumers like or not like about their products. Sensory testing is important as companies can lose a lot of revenue if a new product or variation in a product is not accepted by consumers.  Companies also use sensory analysis when they wish to substitute an ingredient or additive, to reduce cost without comprising on quality or perceived change in the sensory aspects of the product.

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