Baking & breaking: dynamic CT in food science

Dynamic micro-CT in the TESCAN UniTOM XL is used to visualize high-temperature applications at high temporal resolutions. We image baking of cookies and biscuits, in real-time and in 4D, illustrating how bubbles form inside the dough and at which points in the baking process the dough shrinks or expands. Using convective heating – powered through our in-situ integration kit - and heat resistant crucibles, we can perform these experiments inside the micro-CT scanner.

Another high-temperature application shows the melting process of sugar, at no less than 186 degrees Celsius. The transition from solid sugar grains to a liquid caramel is observed, and the temporal resolution is even high enough to follow air bubbles inside the caramel mass.

Finally, mechanical tests of cookies are used to study and understand their strength. How the baked cookies behave under a load is important for the mouth feeling of the consumer, and this has a direct influence on how the finished product is appreciated.