At the 100th American Association of Cereal Chemists Conference in Minneapolis, expert in texture analysis, Stable Micro Systems, was granted approval of an AACCI standard method for its Volscan Profiler. A laser-based, non-contact instrument, the Volscan Profiler automatically measures the volume and dimensional profile of baked products, accurately and repeatedly. The newly developed standard will permit cereal scientists and bakers to test their products using a method approved by the AACC.
Replacing manual, time-consuming and inaccurate measurement methods such as water or seed displacement techniques, the bench top laser-based scanner provides objective and precise three-dimensional digitisation (laser topography) for a wide variety of bread and baked products. These include various styles of bread, from tin loaves to round loaves, rolls (seeded and non-seeded) and baguettes, to muffins and cakes, with a maximum sample height of 60cm and width of 38cm.
Jo Smewing, Applications Manager, Stable Micro Systems, comments: “The method underwent a collaborative study with nine laboratories in the US, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, with each following the procedure for a range of eleven samples and reporting back on the results. Including measurements such as volume, product length, maximum height and maximum width, the standard method offers operators a comprehensive measurement scope, with a greater range of parameters and breadth of bakery samples than any similar method using competitive instrumentation.”
The technology can also be used to determine further product dimensions including specific volume, volume yield, height at the maximum width, width at the maximum height and aspect ratios. These additional parameters, however, were not investigated in the study.
Alongside this standard method development, Stable Micro Systems has continued to develop additional features within the Volscan Profiler programme software to provide meaningful and bespoke solutions for more specialist applications. For example, the calculation of surface area, circumference and minimum enclosing circle have been added to help manufacturers quantify the product’s suitability to fit into the chosen packaging without difficulty. In doing so, the process ensures product volume and packaging are matched, helping bakers maintain cost efficiencies by reducing waste of both product and packaging material.