RSSL can help with product development and reformulation, investigating the root cause of product issues, and developing analytical methods to measure the quality, consistency and stability of new products.

We use a range of physical analysis techniques to characterise the material properties and microstructure of food

Our Capabilities in Food Structural and Physical Characterisation

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Download the food structural and physical characterisation road map

Ingredient Characterisation

We can evaluate novel raw materials by comparing samples from different suppliers and expand on limited data provided in supplier’s certificates of analysis. Additionally, RSSL can assist with screening the physical properties of early stage prototypes, characterising dispersion, stability, viscosity and microstructure.

Process Troubleshooting

Unexpected behaviour or poor performance can often be attributed to physical properties of the ingredients, their interactions and/or effects of process variables such as shear or temperature. We can help to reveal the root cause using our suite of structural characterisation services and applied scientific expertise.

Finished Product Quality

The delivery of high quality, stable products to the consumer is crucial to any business. We can support your product development and quality assurance activities by applying a wide range of analytical tests and provide the necessary interpretation to enable you to make key decisions that impact quality..


Particle Characterisation

  • Particle sizing by laser diffraction (Malvern Mastersizer 2000/3000)
  • Nanoparticle sizing using dynamic light scattering
  • Zeta potential by electrophoretic light scattering
  • Sizing larger particles using sieving (mechanical and airjet)
  • Morphology analysis of particles using quantitative image analysis
  • Emulsion stability using LUMiSizer technology
  • Specific surface area using gas sorption

Powder Characterisation

  • Density (tapped/bulk for powders, displacement and cup for semi-solids, Stable Microsystems Volscan for porous materials)
  • Powder flow and rheometry using Brookfield shear cell and FT4


  • Internal 3D non-destructive structural analysis using X-Ray Microtomography (XMT)
  • Imaging using microscopy (light, confocal and SEM) and quantitative image analysis
  • Fracture and deformation using texture analysis
  • Large and small deformation analysis using rheological testing


  • Thermal analysis of melting points, degree of crystallisation, glass transition temperature and specific heat capacity using DSC and TGA

Chemical Analysis

  • Moisture analysis (Karl Fischer, water activity and dynamic vapour sorption)
  • Rapid screening methods using near infrared spectroscopy (NIR)
  • Solid fat content using low resolution NMR
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