Trust NDC for control of degree of brownness in snacks

Firing Industries plays an important role in Canada’s food-processing industry – especially for snack foods. When baking crackers, cookies, and other snacks, it is vital to get degree of brownness correct; it is also important to have the right amount of moisture and oil, to perfect the flavour. This is why Firing Industries supplies important tools from NDC Technologies to measure these food characteristics accurately and quickly.

From corn snacks to cookies

Degree of brownness is an important factor in several kinds of popular snack foods, especially corn- or potato-based snacks (whether fried or baked), extruded snacks, cookies, and crackers. These products also require a specific level of moisture, and all of them except crackers need a certain amount of oil. For these purposes, NDC manufactures two measuring instruments: the MM710e on-line gauge, and the InfraLab at-line analyzer.

Indicative values for the measurement accuracy for each parameter go as follows:

  • Moisture: range from zero to four per cent, accuracy of 0.1 per cent.
  • Moisture: range from five to 25 per cent, accuracy of ½ a per cent.
  • Oil: range from 20 to 45 per cent, accuracy of ½ a per cent.
  • Surface brownness: user-selectable range.

The accuracy quoted here is double the standard deviation of the residual differences between the MM710e or InfraLab measurements, and also double the values obtained for samples taken from the line and tested using an approved reference procedure in the laboratory. Both of these NDC devices can be adjusted quickly to be compatible with the user’s primary reference methods, like gravimetric oven or wet chemistry, using the NDC software provided. Firing Industries delivers both instruments pre-calibrated.

The MM710e and InfraLab both offer simultaneous measurements of moisture, oil, and degree of brownness. Because optimum brownness is a subjective concept and depends on the process operator’s perception of perfect colour, NDC approaches this measurement in close imitation of the human eye’s response to changes in brownness. This standardizes product colour so that all bakers and fryers aim at a consistent target.

To learn more, contact Firing Industries’ application-sales engineers at or (877) 688-0974.

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