Food Rheology Laboratory

Food rheology addresses fluid and structural properties of raw materials, ingredients, and intermediate and final products of the food and pharmaceutical industries. 

Its importance lies in the ability to understand how process variables influence specific textural characteristics, such as pourability and mouthfeel. Parameters are essential for the design and specification of processing equipment like pumps and heat exchangers. Rheological measurements can rapidly determine product quality and serve as a tool for quality control.

Available for contract testing and consulting, our lab helps explain the physical chemistry, molecular-level interactions, and functionality of a food system to solve industry challenges.

Questions?

Contact Dr. Haotian Zheng, Assistant Professor in Food Chemistry, or Avinash Singh Patel, Postdoctoral Research Scholar.

Services and Testing Capabilities

Services Offered

  • Mathematic modeling to predict material performance during processing or experimental conditions
  • Process analysis to identify the influence of variables on specific textural characteristics
  • Product evaluation to design and specify processing equipment
  • Quality determination, including final products, ingredients, intermediate products, and raw materials

Fluid Materials

  • Creep
  • Electrorheological measurements
  • Normal force measurement
  • Steady and oscillatory simple shear modes
  • Stress relaxation
  • Tube viscometry
  • Vane method

Solid materials

  • Compression
  • Creep
  • Stress relaxation
  • Tension
  • Texture profiling
  • Torsion
  • Vane method

Equipment

Rheology Equipment: Anton, Drop, Microscopy, Raman

Anton Paar Modular Compact Rheometer (MCR302) for Bulk & Interfacial Rheology

Controls shear stress/rate, and normal force to measure viscous and viscoelastic properties of ingestibles and tribological properties using cone-plate, tribology cell, and bob-cup. Interfacial shear rheology studies the flow properties of 2D liquid-liquid and liquid-air interfaces using Bi-cone under controlled temperature. Learn more.

Drop Shape Analyzer (DSA)

Analyzes solids and liquids in the wetting and coating processes. The high degree of automation with easily programmable features provides for user-independent contact angle and surface tension results, ideal for quality control. Learn more.

Fluorescent Microscope

Complete CKX53 kit for bright field, phase contrast, and fluorescence observation. Includes trinocular head for camera compatibility 20x, 40x, and 100x objectives for phase contrast, fluorescence illuminator with long-pass filter cubes, LED condenser, phase contrast slider with inserts, dust cover, and power cable. Learn more.

Instron 5565 Tension Tester/Pull Tester

Performs single or multi-cycle uniaxial controlled deformation or load testing to perform numerous empirical and fundamental tests. Learn more.

Dynamic Foam Analyzer

Measures the foamability of liquids and the stability of quickly decaying or long-lasting foam based on reproducible foaming and height detection. It also measures the liquid content or analyzes the foam structure with regard to bubble size and distribution. Learn more.

iRaman (Raman Spectrometer)

Uses a high-quantum-efficiency CCD array detector with TE cooling, high dynamic range, and high-resolution configurations to measure from 65 cm-1to 4,200 cm-1. Learn more.

Membrane Filtration

A clean technology that concentrates and purifies food ingredients and substances. The separation process is based on particle or molecular size. Membrane types include ceramic, spiral wound, and flat sheet. Filtration types include MF, UF, NF, and RO. Volumetric flow rate includes cross-flows of 5 to 24 l/min. Learn more.

Thermo Scientific Vanquish UPLC

UPLC coupled with three detectors (DAD, refractive and charge aerosol) to offer a wide range of applications in liquid chromatography. Learn more.