Over the past centuries the food supply chain has largely evolved from subsistence farming to a global industry where technology is used to constantly improve production yield, food properties and food handling. The first step of this chain requires the development of agrichemicals to maximize the production of raw materials. Food technology develops new food additives to enhance taste, flavor, and appearance and to preserve food quality over time. This includes the development and controlling the quality of packaging. Operating process control of food quality and hygiene obey the regulations defined by the regulatory authorities. Attension tensiometers contribute at all levels of the food supply chain from production to consumption.
Application examples include:
• Bacterial adhesion and cleanability of surfaces coming in contact with food, such as packaging materials and process line equipment, can be studied with contact angle measurements by using optical tensiometer. Contact angle measurements enable surface free energy determination which provides useful information on the hygienic status of such materials.
• Critical micelle concentration (CMC) measurements with force tensiometer can be used in developing agrichemicals and food additives such as biosurfactants. Biosurfactants can be used as emulsifiers in the food industry and CMC measurements enable to characterize dosage of these surface active components.
• Absorption and capillary rise phenomena of varied powders used in food production can be studied by powder wettability method with force tensiometer. Lactose powder for example is commonly used in food industry because of its physical properties, including its good ability to bind water.