Essential Analytical Techniques for Food Powder Characterization: From R&D to Manufacturing

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Essential Analytical Techniques for Food Powder Characterization: From R&D to Manufacturing

Published on ‎04-03-2023 03:12 PM by | Updated on ‎06-29-2023 01:26 PM

A thorough knowledge of size, porosity, and surface area is important in characterizing food powders. Furthermore, predicting the flow behavior of food powders is important to ensure no unexpected issues are encountered during handling in industrial processing.This webinar will focus on technologies that enable powder size, surface area, porosity, and flow evaluation (via powder rheology). A good understanding of these powder parameters, along with the flowability of the powders, paves the way towards optimizing process conditions to achieve a quality final product.  
Effects of both internal influences like particle shape, size, size distribution, density, as well as external influences like humidity, temperature, and degree of consolidation, will be highlighted for end product usage and flow behavior of food products through several case studies. 
Key Learning Objectives:
  • How intrinsic material attributes affect a sample’s processability
  • The impact of environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and consolidation on final product attributes
  • Essential tools and techniques for the characterization of food powders
Who Should Attend:
  • Anyone working in Food Research & Development, or Food Science 
  • Food Manufacturers, Quality Control/Assurance

Brought to you by:




%7B2665b270-a423-4ceb-9c93-0b0cc35124f8%7D_Speaker1_100x100Dr. Brian Rodenhausen
Particle and Materials Characterization Lead Scientist,
Anton Paar

%7B0a4fe974-bd47-4ae7-b58b-138d165ac938%7D_Speaker2_100x100Dr. Abhishek Shetty
Advanced Technical Center Lead Scientist,
Anton Paar

%7Bcdccb62d-4f94-40ad-b78d-37a1fa5cc717%7D__kellymcsweeney_croppedKelly McSweeney
Contributing Editor,
C&EN Media Group

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Tue, Jul 11, 2023 01:00 PM EDT
Tue, Jul 11, 2023 02:00 PM EDT
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Visitor II

Here are some essential analytical techniques commonly employed for food powder characterization, from R&D.

Particle Size Analysis: Determining the particle size distribution of food powders is fundamental. Techniques such as laser diffraction, sedimentation, and microscopy can provide information on particle size, shape, and surface area. This data influences product properties like flowability, solubility, and texture. Moisture Analysis: Moisture content affects the stability, shelf life, and quality of food powders. Techniques like Karl Fischer titration, moisture balance, and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) can accurately measure moisture levels, ensuring optimal product performance and preventing microbial growth.

Visitor II

"Essential Analytical Techniques for Food Powder Characterization: From R&D to Manufacturing" is a topic related to a virtual event hosted by the American Chemical Society (ACS) on May 10, 2023. The event aims to provide a thorough understanding of size, porosity, and surface area in characterizing food powders. The event is geared towards professionals in the food industry who are involved in research and development, manufacturing, and quality control of food powders. The event will cover various analytical techniques for food powder characterization, including microscopy, spectroscopy, and thermal analysis. The event is sponsored by Anton Paar, a company that specializes in laboratory and process measurement equipment.

Visitor II

Analyzing food powders is crucial for both research and manufacturing purposes to ensure product quality, consistency, and safety. Here are some essential analytical techniques commonly used for food powder characterization:


1. **Particle Size Analysis**: Determining the particle size distribution is critical for understanding the behavior of food powders during processing, storage, and consumption. Techniques like laser diffraction, sedimentation, and microscopy can be used to measure particle sizes.


2. **Morphology and Microscopy**: Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy allow for detailed visualization of powder particles, revealing their shape, surface characteristics, and potential agglomeration.


3. **Surface Area and Porosity**: Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis measures the specific surface area of powders, which is important for assessing reactivity, moisture adsorption, and other properties.


4. **Flowability and Bulk Density**: Techniques like angle of repose, Hausner ratio, and tapped density measurements provide insights into the flow behavior and compaction properties of powders, impacting manufacturing processes.


5. **Moisture Content Analysis**: Moisture content affects product stability and shelf life. Methods like Karl Fischer titration, oven drying, or near-infrared spectroscopy can be used to determine moisture content accurately.


6. **Thermal Analysis**: Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) provide information about thermal transitions, stability, and moisture content.


7. **Rheological Properties**: Rheology measures a powder's flow behavior under different conditions, offering insights into its viscosity, yield stress, and flowability.


8. **X-ray Diffraction (XRD)**: XRD helps identify crystal structures and analyze the crystallinity of food powders, influencing properties such as solubility and texture.


9. **Spectroscopic Techniques**: Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) can provide information about chemical composition, moisture content, and other quality parameters.


10. **Color Analysis**: Color measurement tools like spectrophotometers or colorimeters assess the appearance and color consistency of powders, which is important for consumer perception.


11. **Density and Porosity**: Techniques such as gas pycnometry can provide information about density and porosity of powders, impacting packaging and formulation.


12. **Electrostatic Properties**: Powders can become electrostatically charged, affecting handling and processing. Techniques like triboelectric charging tests can evaluate these properties.


13. **Microbial Analysis**: Microbial contamination can be a concern in food powders. Microbiological testing helps ensure safety and compliance with quality standards.


14. **Chemical Composition Analysis**: Techniques like chromatography and mass spectrometry can identify and quantify various compounds present in food powders, including flavor compounds, additives, and contaminants.


15. **Sensitivity to Environmental Conditions**: Evaluating how powders respond to humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors is important for predicting stability and performance.


When selecting analytical techniques, consider the specific properties and characteristics you need to assess, as well as the equipment and expertise available. Depending on your needs, a combination of these techniques may be necessary to comprehensively characterize food powders from research and development to manufacturing.

Visitor II

When developing and producing food products, it is essential to do in-depth powder analysis to guarantee the highest standards of quality, safety, and uniformity. Powdered foods can be adequately characterised using a wide range of analytical techniques. Key analytical methods typically employed for characterising food powders include:

**Particle Size Analysis**: The flowability, solubility, and texture of a food powder are all significantly impacted by the particle size distribution. Particle size distribution and average particle size can be measured with tools including laser diffraction, sedimentation, and microscopy.


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) produces high-resolution images of the surfaces of food powders, revealing the morphology, size, and shape of individual particles. Knowing how particles interact and pack together is greatly aided by this data.


X-ray diffraction (XRD) is a method for determining the presence of crystalline structures in powdered foods. The purity and stability of ingredients, as well as how they could react with one another during manufacturing and storage, can be evaluated in this way.


Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) measures the infrared absorption spectra of food powders to determine their molecular makeup. It can classify functional groups, which is useful for characterising ingredients and keeping tabs on processing-related shifts.


Using a device called a **differential scanning calorimeter** (DSC), scientists may determine the rate of heat transfer in a powdered food item at varying temperatures. Phase changes, melting points, and thermal stability are all things that can be investigated with this method.


Moisture analysis is an important factor in determining the freshness and longevity of food powder. Karl Fischer titration, loss on drying, and near-infrared spectroscopy are all useful techniques for determining moisture content.


7. **Density Measurements in Bulk and on the Taps**: Powders' packing and flow behaviour can be better understood with the use of these metrics. While tap density takes into account the packing after tapping, bulk density measures the mass of powder per unit volume.


Rheological analysis, number eight, looks at how food powders deform and flow when pressure is applied. Powder behaviour during processing can be better understood by rheological measures, which can then be used to inform the creation of goods like doughs and batters.


Colour is an important sensory attribute of food powders, and it can be evaluated here. Colorimeters and spectrophotometers help with quality control and guarantee a uniform look by measuring and reporting on colour properties including hue, brightness, and saturation.


The flowability of a powder can be measured in a number of ways, including the flowability index and the angle of repose. For efficient processing and packaging, this data is crucial.


Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis can be used to calculate the specific surface area of powders; this information is useful for elucidating their reactivity, adsorption, and dissolution kinetics.


Dynamic light scattering (DLS) is a technique for determining the size of suspended particles by analysing their ability to scatter light. Some food powders contain nanoparticles or emulsions, and this method can help you learn more about them.


When making the leap from research and development to manufacturing, it's crucial that the analytic methods employed are suitable for use in industrial settings. It may be necessary to modify some processes in order to keep up with the increased volume and velocity of manufacturing without sacrificing accuracy or precision. The choice of methods will also be affected by the requirements of the product and the process.


Visitor II

From research and development, below are some fundamental analytical procedures that are often applied for the characterization of food powder.

Analysing Particle Size: Determining the Particle Size Distribution of Food Powders Understanding the particle size distribution of food powders is essential. Information about the size of particles, their shapes, and their surface areas can be obtained by the use of methods such as laser diffraction, sedimentation, and microscopy. The qualities of the product, such as its flowability, solubility, and texture, are impacted by this facts. Moisture Analysis The stability, shelf life, and overall quality of food powders are all affected by the amount of moisture present in the powder. Techniques such as Karl Fischer titration, moisture balancing, and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) can reliably monitor the amounts of moisture in a product, so assuring that the product will operate to its full potential and preventing the growth of microorganisms.

Visitor II

Analytical techniques play a crucial role in characterizing food powders, whether in research and development (R&D) or during the manufacturing process. Here are some essential analytical techniques for food powder characterization:

1. **Particle Size Analysis**:
- **Laser Diffraction**: Measures the size distribution of particles in a sample by analyzing how light is scattered.
- **Sieve Analysis**: Separates particles based on size using a series of sieves with progressively smaller openings.

2. **Moisture Content Analysis**:
- **Karl Fischer Titration**: Determines the water content in a sample by a chemical reaction with iodine.

3. **Bulk Density and Tapped Density**:
- Provides information about the packing and flow characteristics of the powder.

4. **Flowability Testing**:
- **Angle of Repose**: Measures the angle at which a pile of powder settles.
- **Cohesion and Compressibility**: Assess the powder's ability to flow and pack.

5. **Surface Area Measurement**:
- Techniques like BET (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) analysis can determine the specific surface area of the particles.

6. **Rheology**:
- Measures the flow and deformation behavior of powders under applied stress. Techniques include shear testing, compression testing, and oscillatory rheology.

7. **Microscopy**:
- **Optical Microscopy**: Provides visual information about particle size, shape, and distribution.
- **Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)**: Offers high-resolution imaging for detailed surface analysis.

8. **X-ray Diffraction (XRD)**:
- Identifies the crystalline structure of compounds within the powder.

9. **Spectroscopy**:
- **FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy)**: Identifies functional groups and chemical bonds in the sample.
- **UV-Visible Spectroscopy**: Can be used for color analysis and certain chemical characterizations.

10. **Thermal Analysis**:
- **Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)**: Measures heat changes associated with phase transitions.
- **Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)**: Determines changes in weight as a function of temperature.

11. **Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)**:
- Provides information about the molecular structure and composition of the powder.

12. **Chromatography**:
- **HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography)**: Separates and quantifies different components in a mixture.
- **GC (Gas Chromatography)**: Useful for analyzing volatile compounds.

13. **Sensory Analysis**:
- Involves human sensory perception to evaluate attributes like taste, odor, and texture.

14. **Color Measurement**:
- Techniques like spectrophotometry or colorimeters are used to quantify color attributes.

15. **Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR)**:
- Can provide information about the free radical content in food powders.

These techniques can be applied at different stages, from the research and development phase to manufacturing, to ensure consistent quality and properties of food powders. The choice of technique(s) will depend on the specific characteristics of the powder being analyzed and the information needed for the application.


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