Spectroscopy, Rheology and Extrusion Technologies for Food Development and Testing

Modern technology in food production

Optimize food product development and earn consumer trust

Thermo Scientific instruments for food development are designed to minimize human errors, provide clear traceability, enable consistency among batches, and confirm that products meet food and beverage regulations. You can rely on our expertise to ensure that the safety and sensory expectations of your consumers are continually met.


Food product development strategy

Management of mechanical and sensory attributes of food products and analogs is an essential part of food production. Extrusion of food ingredients into the preferred food shape and size offers a continuous, cost-effective production technique, while rheology allows the assessment of mechanical properties to ensure that food characteristics match your brand’s promise. Combining these technologies helps ensure precise process control and consistent product quality.

Food extrusion using twin-screw extruders

Extrusion processes are common in the development and production of food products and serve a crucial support role in the production of new functional foods. Through carefully chosen processing parameters, they determine and enhance the food properties of texture and shape and can influence flavor or color.


Food extrusion is an established, versatile method to produce:

  • Meat analogs
  • Pastas, cereals, snacks
  • Flavorings
  • Nutritional additives
  • Animal feed products

Thermo Scientific Process 11 Twin-screw Extruder

During new product development and process optimization, food engineers need highly flexible systems to handle small throughput volumes starting at gram levels up to a few kilograms per hour. They should also be easy to clean, intuitive to operate, and able to mimic a complete processing line. The Thermo Scientific Process 11 Twin-screw Extruder facilitates a streamlined, flexible R&D workflow for a cost-effective, continuous means of production with precise control for maintaining high product quality.


Thermo Scientific Process 16 Twin-screw Extruder

A highly modular, flexible extrusion system with a wide range of options and accessories to support your food development, process development, and small batch production requirements. With a wide range of feeding options to accommodate different material types, a stainless steel monocoque housing for easy cleaning, and clearly structured HMI for precise parameter control, the Thermo Scientific Process 16 Extruder allows you to conduct numerous trials efficiently and cost effectively, all while conserving precious laboratory space.

Rheological properties of food

Rheological and textural properties play important roles during the entire life cycle of liquid up to solid food formulations. Rheometers can measure rheological properties such as viscosity, elasticity, and yield stress. With the broad range of structures, textures, and behaviors of food materials, a wide range of rheological methods for characterization across the stages of formulation, manufacturing, shelf life, and consumption is needed. Rheometers have an array of accessories that support scientists and technicians with their investigations.

Thermo Scientific HAAKE Rheometers

Thermo Scientific HAAKE Rheometers provide insight into how your foods flow or deform under different conditions during the life cycle of your product–when being pumped through your process stream or when consumers are pouring, chewing, storing, or otherwise assessing whether your food or beverage product meets their ideal sensory expectations.

Food rheological measurements include:

  • Comprehensive rheological investigations for the R&D of new formulations
  • Flow curve or yield point measurements in the QC lab
  • Simple single point viscosity measurements for a fast batch release in production

UV-Vis spectroscopy in food analysis

UV-Visible spectrophotometers offer quick, inexpensive, easy-to-use analysis to verify whether product quality is within specification for beverages like beer, wine, juices, energy and soft drinks, waters, and other liquids, even sticky and thick ones, like honey, or oily ones, like palm oil.

For example, a simple UV-Vis analysis of your latest craft beer can identify whether its bitterness matches the expectations for your most popular IPA. You can test the clarity of your water as a raw material, or test a bottled product for the presence of impurities or inclusions. Or if you’re making wines, you can assess whether the color intensity is just right for your rich burgundy. And if your refreshment drink has a brand-identifying brilliant blue color, you can check that the concentration of the food-safe dye is within specification. Even your sticky-sweet honey can be tested to assess any color shifts due to poor storage, adulteration, or extreme heat exposure and to verify whether it meets the regulatory standards of allowable HMF levels.

Thermo Scientific GENESYS UV-Vis Spectrophotometers

Built for real-world laboratories where rugged, easy-to-use instrumentation is a must, Thermo Scientific GENESYS UV-Vis spectrophotometers give you a range of solutions for routine analysis and specialized measurements.

Typically, analysis involves colorimetric measurements in the visible range. With only a small sample volume, you can see results in seconds to verify the quality of ingredients, process intermediates, and food products. 

Simplify sampling with easy access, flexibility, and choices to fit your varied testing needs.

Thermo Scientific BeerCraft Software for GENESYS UV-Vis Spectrophotometers

Ensure consistency of each unique brew with the Thermo Scientific BeerCraft Software. We made it simple, so you can get answers faster without complicated calculations. Analyze over twenty attributes of beer at the touch of a button; methods are pre-programmed for quick and easy measurements. Maintain your beer’s identity and the success of your brand with BeerCraft Software for use with the Thermo Scientific GENESYS 50 or GENESYS 150 UV-Vis Spectrophotometers.


Thermo Scientific VISIONlite 5 Software

Thermo Scientific VISIONlite 5 Software enhances the capabilities of our UV-Vis instruments, displaying and reporting experimental and analytical results with ease. Additional stand-alone packages are available: ColorCalc records the transmission or reflectance spectrum and performs color calculations; EnzLab offers predefined methods and operation procedures for enzymatic test kits; and Wine Analysis includes predefined photometric, colorimetric, and enzymatic analytical procedures common in wine and juice analysis.


IR spectroscopy in food analysis

Ensuring quality and safety in foods and beverages requires continuous vigilance to ensure that all surfaces the food contacts throughout production are inert, non-toxic, and scrupulously clean. Even so, the food may pick up small amounts of material along the way. It is essential to identify unexpected components to determine if they are contaminants requiring elimination or acceptable byproducts of the food production process. Infrared spectroscopy can provide rapid analysis throughout the process.

Thermo Scientific Antaris II FT-NIR Analyzer

Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy is a simple, relatively fast, reproducible method to analyze powders and liquids directly and non-destructively. The Thermo Scientific Antaris II FT-NIR Analyzer can be used for method development, at-line quality control, and in-line monitoring and control tool. This helps:

• Assess meat products, edible oils, beverages, processed foods, sugars/other sweeteners, seeds, dairy products, and milk powders

• Monitor the drying process for milk powders

• Report nutritional facts and proximate analysis 

• Confirm the identity and consistency of nutraceuticals and food ingredients

Thermo Scientific Nicolet Summit OA FTIR Spectrometer

The Thermo Scientific Nicolet Summit OA FTIR Spectrometer, specifically designed to rapidly measure viscous and liquid samples, is a rugged, easy-to-use instrument that provides the ideal performance and fit for QC testing and material identification.

Use this instrument to help:

• Enable rapid characterization of oil, liquid, syrup, and paste samples
• Manage costs, verify oil quality, and provide consistent appearance of product for snack food manufacturers
• Create customer-specific applications for qualitative and quantitative analysis of food products

X-ray fluorescence analysis of food

Human baby formulas, pet foods, and domestic animal feed contain a broad range of required nutrients and serve as the primary daily energy source in a powder, kibble, or wet format. Infant formula is a mixture of nutrients and other components designed to roughly mimic human mother’s milk at approximately one to three months postpartum. Nutritional formula is usually prepared for bottle-feeding or cup-feeding from powder (mixed with water) or liquid (with or without additional water). There can be significant differences in the nutrient content between commercial products. Wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) analysis performs qualitative measurements by comparing sample values to a set of calibration standards. 

Thermo Scientific ARL OPTIM’X WDXRF Spectrometer

The Thermo Scientific ARL OPTIM’X WDXRF Spectrometer meets the high performance and high throughput needs for nutritionally supplemented milk powders: 

  • Multi-element capability: Mg, K, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu, Se, Mo, Iodine (When Na and Mg are required, WDX must be used to get the required performance)
  • Mineral analysis
  • Advanced quantitative algorithms for optimal accuracy
  • Excellent repeatability