One Giant Leap for Texture Analysis by ProQuest


Jo Smewing,-applications manager, Stable Micro Systems, commented: "Our technology*can analyse important textural characteristics in an efficient and , precise way. New space-foods, such as the Space Food Systems Laboratory's apricot cobbler, appeal to astronauts because of their varied and interspersed textures.

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One Giant Leap for Texture Analysis                           Gentle Packaging of Fruits and Vegetables
In conjunction with NASA, Stable Micro Systems’               Following the Pack 201 launched in 2006,
technology is now being used to advance space food            Bosch Packaging Technology now offers
technology. The Space Food Systems laboratory, located        the new Pack 201 FV. The medium-speed
at the Johnson Space Center (Houston, Texas, USA)             horizontal flow wrapper is designed to
has enlisted Stable Micro Systems’ expertise to ensure        facilitate the gentle packaging of delicate
that astronauts are provided with food with optimal           products, such as vegetables and fruits.
appearance, colour, odour, flavour, texture and overall       Bosch has upgraded the Pack 201 FV with
palatability. In light of the dramatic temperature changes    a carrier chain that ensures gentle product
that take place during a mission and the timescales           feeding and minimizes additional heat
involved, Stable Micro Systems’ instrumentation provides      through friction during product transport.
researchers with valuable, quantifiable feedback on a         This prevents product damage and reduces
food’s suitability for space flight. Long missions and        waste. Gas flushing of the packages before
stays on the International Space Station mean that variety    filling and sealing is available to maintain product freshness and reduce contamination, leading to
and acceptability of food are important for astronauts.       extended shelf-life. The modular design of the Pack 201 FV allows the integration of other processing
Following many years of freeze-dried powders, bite-sized      and packaging modules with minimal engineering effort. The machine can perform as a standalone or
cubes and semiliquids in toothpaste tubes, a more diverse     with additional equipment, such as Delta Robots for secondary packaging, and various infeed modules
and interesting range of meals is now on offer. To make       such as automatic infeed belts or pushers. The design of the Pack 201 FV all
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