Texture Analysis Patents News


Alternative proteins/meat substitutes

The meat substitutes market size is estimated to be worth 9.25 Billion USD by 2023.

Consuming meat for many is a part of their daily life, but the majority are opting for a healthy version by switching to non-meat foods for catering to their protein needs.

Avoiding or restricting meat in the diet may be challenging, yet with the nutritional, environmental and health benefits of selecting meat substitutes over meat, this challenge will be worth the effort.

Meat substitutes until recently have been consumed primarily by vegetarian and vegan consumers seeking more healthy, sustainable and ethical alternatives to meat. These days flexitarians (people who mostly eat plant-based food and consume meat, fish and poultry occasionally) are also turning to meat substitutes. Meat substitutes, also called as meat analogues, are successful owing to its low cost, meat-like texture and healthy image as it is cholesterol-free. Food scientists are coming up with meat alternatives which have similar mouth feel and truly taste like meat.

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Major players operating in the Meat Substitutes Market include Schouten Europe B.V., Sunfed Ltd, VBites Foods Ltd., Morning Star Farms, Garden Protein International Inc., Quorn Foods, Inc, Beyond Meat, and AMY's Kitchen, Inc.

A patent has recently been released by Sunfed entitled ‘Meat Substitute’. It outlines a meat substitute comprising plant protein, fruit powder and chia seed extract. There are a range of meat substitutes available that use plant proteins to form substances having a meat-like texture, typically mimicking the fibrous qualities found in animal protein. The majority of such products are formed using soy protein together with a number of other additives to enhance flavour and texture, such as gluten. Soy is known to act well under extrusion to create a meat-like texture and has therefore been prevalent in the meat substitute industry. Gluten is also commonly used.

However, allergic reactions to soy and gluten products are becoming more common. Removing soy presents challenges in the formation of products with a desirable texture, and further research is required to find low allergen replacements. This patent attempts to provide an improved meat substitute product. They used their TA.XT2i Texture Analyser to measure the hardness and tensile strength of the samples.

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Alternative proteins/meat substitutes

Personal care applications
Hair combing

A patent has recently been released by Procter and Gamble, entitled ‘Skin Care Composition’.

It covers a personal care composition incorporating a dimethicone fluid for the cosmetic treatment of skin that provides an improved moisturisation signal to a user and exhibits good feel properties.

The researchers used their TA.XT2i Texture Analyser to perform a tack test on a film formed from the composition.

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In Germany, a patent has recently been released by Beiersdorf, entitled ‘Cosmetic Shaving Stick’ outlining a shaving stick that does not have the usual disadvantages of similar products.

For example, shaving sticks often feel hard on the skin, require rubbing for film formation, the product can block up razors and can also be difficult to rinse off the skin.

To measure sample hardness, their TA.XT2i Texture Analyser was used to perform penetration tests. If the penetration force value is within certain limits, it has been shown that the stick composition when rubbed on skin wetted with water is perceived as neither too hard nor too soft. Instead, the mass of the cosmetic stick composition is experienced as particularly creamy and pleasant.

Surprisingly, the cosmetic stick composition in the preferred range of penetration force values can be transferred particularly easily to the skin to be shaved. It has been found that such cosmetic stick compositions exhibit a particularly efficient deposition and swelling on short stubble having a length of up to about 2 mm.

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Meanwhile, a patent has recently been released by Wacker Metroark Chemicals PVT. Ltd., entitled ‘Emulsion Comprising Silicone Fluid Composition for Hair Care Application’.

Consumers have need for quick and easy haircare solutions with long lasting, desirable effects. Along with cleaning and conditioning, the effects of shine and manageability are sought after. This patent aims to provide a styling solution with improved shine, easy manageability and alignment, and conditioning benefits.

They used their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser to measure the friction and combing force of treated hair tresses.

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Medical applications

... and here are a number of patents from the world of medicine...

A patent has recently been released by LG Household and Health Care Ltd entitled ‘Preparation for Attaching to Teeth or Surrounding Part of Teeth’.

There are many difficulties involved with delivering an active ingredient into the oral cavity as the contact time and quantity play an important role. As outlined in the patent, there are disadvantages to existing delivery methods. The new preparation delivers an active ingredient whose physical properties are changed before attachment to teeth and after a period of time after the attachment.

The sample hardness was measured at the time of attachment and time of removal using their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser by compression. A range of hardness values for different purposes has been outlined (e.g. moulding to attach to the teeth).

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A patent has recently been released by KPR US entitled ‘Lower Surface Friction Absorbent Articles and Related Methods Therefor’.

This patent outlines a construction including a fluid pervious top sheet with a low coefficient of friction, a fluid impervious bottom sheet and an absorbent core between them, designed for absorption of bodily fluid discharge. The relative friction between top sheet samples and artificial skin was measured using a TA.XTplus Texture Analyser, and was specified to have a kinetic coefficient of friction less than 0.7.

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Meanwhile, at The Queen’s University of Belfast, a patent has recently been filed entitled ‘Ocular Compositions’.

Chronic retinal diseases are the leading contributor to visual impairment and blindness worldwide. Loss of sight has a major personal impact on people's daily lives and has a profound economic impact on individuals, families, support agencies, society and the state.

The posterior segment of the eye, which includes the retina, choroid, and vitreous body, is difficult to access due to the recessed location within the orbital cavity. Therefore, drug delivery to the posterior segment of the eye has remained one of the most challenging tasks for pharmaceutical scientists and retina specialists.

This patent outlines compositions that can be administered to the eye for controlled release. Syringeability of compositions was measured using their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser. Having subtracted the work of syringeability of air, the results were found to distinguish between different formulations.

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At the University of Missouri, work has enabled the patent application entitled ‘Bionanocomposite for Tissue Regeneration and Soft Tissue Repair’.

The availability of biocompatible materials for soft tissue repair applications such as hernia repair, meniscus tissue replacement, and vascular grafts, is a critical issue for the medical society due to the large number of patients requiring these types of repairs.

There is a need to provide a new and improved implant material that combats the problems of mesh shrinkage, infection, and recurrences, while promoting tissue integration and improving the overall biocompatibility when used in soft tissue repair. There is also a need to provide a new and improved scaffold material for tissue re-engineering.

Samples in this study were characterised by tensile testing using their TA.XT2 Texture Analyser after notching. A large increase in tensile strength was found after the addition of SiC nanowires compared to the ECM scaffolds without the addition of nanomaterials.

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Syringe rig

Hair treatment methods testing
Hair combing

A patent has recently been filed by L’Oreal, entitled “Compositions and Methods for Treating Hair”.

The goals of many hair styling compositions are to hold or fix the hair in a particular shape, to impart or increase volume of the hair, and to smooth the hair, e.g. to decrease or eliminate the appearance of frizz. Drawbacks associated with current products for styling the hair include that the product is often sticky or tacky or produces a film that imparts a sticky feel, and styled hair that is stiff or crunchy (i.e. the film is hard and brittle resulting in a crunching feel or sound when the hair is touched), which is undesirable for most consumers.

It has now been discovered that by providing a composition comprising at least two latex polymers (one of which being a film-forming polymer), it is possible to form a film on a substrate that has desirable properties, such as a clean, natural, or “invisible” feel, and a lack of stickiness. Such compositions may be useful in hair-styling applications where styling benefits such as natural look, curling or straightening, and styling hold are imparted to hair.

The researchers used their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser to perform mechanical tests on hair samples, cycling three point bend hair tress specimens to a given deformation and calculating the change in bending force from cycle number one to cycle number ten.

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Peelable Cosmetics...

Scientists at Shanghai Shuishi Cosmetics Ltd have recently filed a patent that relates to a peelable cosmetic composition that is particularly useful as a nail cosmetic.

Cosmetics are widely used by individuals to modify or enhance their appearance, for example in response to trends in fashion or as expressions of personality. Many varieties of cosmetics are known, with some of the most widely used cosmetics being those which alter the appearance of the nails. Of these, formulations known colloquially as nail “varnishes” or “polishes” are particularly popular due to the wide range of colours and finishes which are available. The market for nail varnishes is a global one, with annual global sales in excess of one billion US dollars.

Nail varnishes typically comprise film-forming polymers dissolved in organic solvents. However, such films are often brittle in nature and thus, in order to provide a degree of flexibility and thereby prevent the varnish from cracking on the nail, plasticisers are usually added. Adhesive polymers are also commonly included in nail varnish formulations in order to promote adhesion of the varnish to the keratin surface of the nail.

Other common additives include toluene and formaldehyde (typically in aqueous solution). Due to the presence of such compounds, nail varnishes have been considered as toxic to humans, and in some jurisdictions are classed as hazardous materials, the storage and disposal of which is controlled.

The application and removal of conventional nail varnishes also poses problems. These solvent-based varnishes are slow to dry once applied and typically take between 10 minutes and 1 hour to harden sufficiently to avoid smudging, smearing or transfer to other surfaces. The solvents present in such products typically have strong odours making application in confined or public places inconvenient. Once applied, conventional solvent-based varnishes require removal by solubilisation in appropriate organic solvents.

The most common solvent for use in nail varnish removal is acetone, but the sensation of acetone evaporation on the skin is unpleasant and repeated exposure of the skin to acetone may cause dryness or cracking. Alternative solvents such as ethyl acetate have been proposed, but in common with acetone, these solvents have strong odours rendering them unsuitable for application in enclosed spaces. At high exposure levels, ethyl acetate may cause irritation by inhalation.

These concerns have led to a need to identify nail varnish formulations which are non-toxic and non-hazardous and which can be used without fear of damage to health. There is also a need for varnishes which are fast-drying, and which can be easily removed.

A number of water-based nail varnish formulations are available on the market. Whilst these are typically not as toxic as conventional solvent-based varnishes, they usually require the application of specific removal solutions (“removers”) in order to be removed. These removers often comprise alcohols and often also surfactants in order to dissolve the varnish from the surface of the nail, and application of the removal solution can be inconvenient.

Furthermore, if the varnish is allowed to remain on the nail for an extended period, it can be difficult to remove, in which case it can be necessary to allow the nail to grow to an extent that the portion of the nail coated with the varnish may be safely removed. It may take several weeks for this to be achieved.

Using their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser, the test team were able to measure properties of the nail varnish such as elongation factor and tensile strength to study the effects of their compositions on changing physical properties.

Other suitable but more recently available methods for assessing nail polish include the Nail Polish Adhesion Rig.

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According to a recently published article in COSSMA, texture is one of the crucial factors consumers rely on to determine the quality of a product, particularly in personal care.

A product’s major point of differentiation is its texture and its sensorial effects, but this is most of the time a subconscious assessment. For example, if you think of the last time you sampled a new product, you will remember smelling it first and then applying a small bit. Without even noticing, you will be making sensory assessments about how much you like or dislike the product’s fragrance, pick-up, immediate texture, play time, rub out and after-feel.

To read more of this article that discusses how texture links to functionality of cosmetic products, click or tap here... 

Similarly, another article, ‘The Pleasure of Texture in Cosmetics’, presents today’s most striking trends in textures and explains how consumers will influence textures for cosmetics and gives an outlook on the future of cosmetic textures.

To read more, click or tap here... 

Nail polish rig

Edible animal chew
Dog chew

A patent has recently been filed by Mars, Inc., entitled “Edible Animal Chew”.

The maintenance of oral health in animals, such as dogs and cats, is important to maintain overall health. A critical aspect of oral health maintenance is the regular removal of plaque; without regular removal, plaque accumulates over time on the animal's teeth and is associated with the production of caries and the presence of gingivitis, amongst other problems.

The edible chew of the present invention has a unique texture that contributes to maintaining the animal's oral health. In particular, they are particularly effective at cleaning the teeth, even when fed to the animal only twice a week. This facilitates maintenance of the oral health of the animal without having to adhere to a daily treatment regime. It also lowers the calorie intake associated with maintaining oral health.

The researchers used their TA.HD Texture Analyser to perform rebound measurements on their samples with a flat-ended conical probe in a load-unload test. The force upon withdrawal was found to be positive, and the energy under this portion of the curve is indicative of the tendency of the sample to re-heal and close up the hole created by the probe.

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Compositions and Methods for Treating Hair

A patent has recently been filed by L’Oreal, entitled “Compositions and Methods for Treating Hair”.

The goals of many hair styling compositions are to hold or fix the hair in a particular shape, to impart or increase volume of the hair, and to smooth the hair, e.g. to decrease or eliminate the appearance of frizz. Drawbacks associated with current products for styling the hair include that the product is often sticky or tacky or produces a film that imparts a sticky feel, and styled hair that is stiff or crunchy (i.e. the film is hard and brittle resulting in a crunching feel or sound when the hair is touched), which is undesirable for most consumers.

It has now been discovered that by providing a composition comprising at least two latex polymers (one of which being a film-forming polymer), it is possible to form a film on a substrate that has desirable properties, such as a clean, natural, or “invisible” feel, and a lack of stickiness. Such compositions may be useful in hair-styling applications where styling benefits such as natural look, curling or straightening, and styling hold are imparted to hair.

The researchers used their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser to perform mechanical tests on hair samples, cycling three point bend hair tress specimens to a given deformation and calculating the change in bending force from cycle number one to cycle number ten.

Click or tap here to read more...

Shampoo

Leave-in hair treatment composition
Bend test on hair

Kao USA have recently released a patent entitled ‘Leave-in hair treatment composition’.

These leave-in hair treatment compositions deliver organic acids to the inside of hair fibres, providing cumulative benefits to the hair with each use: ease of stylability, increased volume and longer-lasting style. The leave-in hair treatment compositions use a combination of citric acid, succinic acid and film-forming polymers to provide these benefits.

They used their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser to perform three point bend testing on treated and control hair fibres, as well as cyclical bend tests on hair tresses.

Click or tap here to read more...


Compositions and methods for dual-texture bubble bits

A patent entitled “Compositions and methods for dual-texture bubble bits” has recently been published by the Coca-Cola Company.

This provides compositions and methods for making dual-texture bubble bits that are shelf-stable in ready-to-drink beverages, and provide a bursting and chewy mouth-feel sensation.

They outline a method using their Texture Analyser TA.XTplus to compress the samples, correlating the force to a specified strain with hardness.

To read more, click or tap here... 

Bubble drinks