CSC Scientific Blog

A blog about test equipment

CSC Scientific Blog

Amanda Ranowsky

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Four Reasons Why Food Manufacturers Should Monitor Moisture

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Mar 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Moisture content is a critical factor to consider in the food industry. The amount of water in a product affects the product’s texture, shelf life, ease of processing, and cost to produce . Snack foods, baked goods, pet food, and dried goods are just a few examples of products that are vulnerable to moisture content issues like these. In many cases, an easy loss-on-drying test will allow you to monitor the moisture content of these products.
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Topics: Moisture Oven Test, Moisture Analysis, Moisture Testing, CSC Digital Moisture Balance, Loss-On-Drying, Moisture, fast moisture test, moisture balance, moisture content, moisture measurement

Sensational Food Texture - What is It? - How to Analyze it?

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Feb 13, 2018 6:30:00 AM

“It doesn’t matter how it looks as long as it tastes good.”

This statement has long been my philosophy when it comes to cooking. The dishes I create (usually) taste okay – even really yummy, occasionally – but I stink at presentation.

Family and friends are usually quite forgiving when it comes to their sensory (sight, touch, smell) experiences with a food before the first bite. They tend to ignore looks and feel, and focus on taste.

Food buyers aren’t so forgiving. If their sensory experiences don’t meet expectations, that crucial first taste will never happen. Flavor isn’t everything, either. If the food doesn’t feel right, or pleasant, the first bite will also be the last.

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Topics: Texture Analysis

How Long Does a Water Activity Test Take?

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Jul 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The answer to the question, “How Long Does a Water Activity Test Take?” is, as with most testing questions, “it depends.” Some water activity meters promise a test completed in a very short time; some in as little as five minutes. This time is an arbitrary selection that may or may not produce a satisfactory result.

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Topics: Bound Moisture, Free Moisture, Moisture Analysis, Water Activity, Moisture, water activity measurement

How Much Do Rotational Viscometers Cost - And Why?

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Apr 19, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Looking at the rotational viscometers on the market today, you'd expect to see small price differences between the instruments offered by competing brands. But what if you find one viscometer priced at $2000 and another at $9000? Is the $9000 viscometer a better instrument? Why is there such a price difference between the two instruments? 

Viscometer prices depend on both the make-up of the instrument's motor, and on the technical features of the instrument (temperature probe, speed range, USB compatibility, etc.). There are two main types of rotational viscometers: those using a spring motor, and those using a servo motor. 

In this article, I’m going to take a look the options available for rotational viscometers, and how those options affect the price.

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Topics: Viscometers, Viscosity, Dynamic Viscosity, rotational viscometer

How to Get Consistent and Accurate Test Results with a Rotational Viscometer

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Mar 22, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Most rotational viscometer specifications promise high test accuracy and repeatability. However, an instrument on its own cannot guarantee accurate results. Instrument set-up and using the right test parameters are critical pieces of the puzzle. 

Test parameters and turbulence are two key factors to consider when preparing to test with a rotational viscometer. The spindle, speed setting, and temperature of the product are some of the parameters that can impact test results. Additionally, turbulence in the sample’s flow during a test will distort viscosity readings. Knowing how to manage these two factors can significantly contribute to the accuracy of your testing.

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Topics: Measure Viscosity, Viscometers, Viscosity, Dynamic Viscosity, rotational viscometer

Contact Angle and Surface Tension - A Fascinating Liaison

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Apr 4, 2016 12:56:10 PM

Contact angle and surface tension. The two terms are never far apart. Run a Google search of "contact angle" right now and see for yourself. You'll often see the terms mentioned within a breath of one another because contact angle and surface tension are two approaches to surface analysis - the study of how a surface interacts with other materials or components. Generally speaking, there is also a relationship between the two measurements, one that tends not to be very clearly explained in other resources. I hope to remedy that today.

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Topics: Automatic Surface Tension Measurment, Surface Tension Measurement, Surface Tension, contact angle, contact angle meter, wettability

When Do I Need a Consistometer vs. a Viscometer?

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Jan 29, 2016 2:58:00 PM

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, "How can I get a viscosity reading from the Bostwick Consistometer?" The answer is, "You can't.We've elaborated on this in other articles. We've even got a great infographic to explain the difference. With this article, I hope to advance the understanding of the difference between these concepts even futher. 

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Topics: Viscosity, Bostwick Consistometer, Consistency, viscometer, consistometer

What is the Difference Between Dynamic and Kinematic Viscosity?

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Jan 15, 2015 6:31:24 PM

I’m always trying to find a simple vision of the material testing world. When I was assigned to our new Viscosity product line, I thought I’d found it. Then I was introduced to the concepts of the dynamic and kinematic factors of viscosity.

This is my attempt to bring clarity to these two principal ways to measure viscosity. 

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Topics: Viscometers, Viscosity, Consistency, Kinematic Viscosity, Dynamic Viscosity

When is a Sieve Not a Sieve?

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Jul 17, 2014 5:00:00 AM

In our business, we use the word “sieve” to describe a piece of equipment that separates desired elements from unwanted material using a woven wire screen or mesh net. To others, “sieve” can mean something very different.

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Topics: ASTM, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Calibration, Sieve Certification, Sieves, Sieving Process

Dance Bars, Music Technology, and...Surface Tension?

Posted by Amanda Ranowsky on Jul 8, 2014 12:39:00 PM

What do an Irish music technology developer, a British manufacturer of arcade and retro-style furniture, and a dance bar in San Francisco have in common? Given a million guesses, I’d never have thought of this:

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Topics: Surface Tension Measurement, Surface Tension

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