Analysing a new powder flow for snack reformulation


Our analytical insights gave a snack producer the green light to use an alternative powder and define optimum conditions for storage and production.



Before replacing a powdered ingredient in a snack application, our client wanted to be sure that their chosen new material would behave in a similar way during storage and processing – with no detrimental impact on the manufacturing process or product shelf life.

As the new powder would be stored in large silos prior to use and hoppers during production, we designed an analytical study to understand whether certain environmental conditions would drive agglomeration and caking.

Our approach


We placed a series of snack concepts and the existing snack product in stability cabinets for a defined period of time. Temperature and relative humidity conditions were set to replicate those that might occur during storage and manufacturing.

At four time points, we removed the snack concepts to carry out two types of analysis:


  • Water activity: To assess the potential for bacterial or fungal growth on the product concepts.
  • Powder flow (eg flow function and wall friction): To evaluate whether the new material had similar properties to the existing ingredient.


The results





Shelf life

Water activity in all test concepts, at every timepoint, was below the 0.600 a/W threshold at which fungal growth begins; indicating that use of the new material would achieve a similar product shelf life as the existing powder.


Powder flow

Initial test data showed a comparable performance, with all powders found to be cohesive under low stress and free flowing under increasing stress levels. (See figure 1)



Elevated relative humidity (85%), even for short periods at low temperature (20C), demonstrated the hygroscopic nature of the materials and revealed limits of safe exposure for storage and production.



Find out how RSSL can support your shelf life studies

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