Brookfield Engineering

Cake, Sponge


Evaluation of soft sponge cake (Madeira cake)

Test Objective

Quantify the textural properties of the cake as an indicator of baking conditions imposed using Texture profile analysis (TPA)


Two commercially available Madeira cakes were assessed using the LFRA texture analyser at three different levels of deformation: 25%, 50%, and 75%. True compression was imposed using a 50.8mm Ø Perspex cylinder probe to samples standardised by cutting cubes of 26 mm x 26 mm x 45 mm from the base of the cake.

Samples were removed from refrigeration at <8°C and tested within their original packaging. 3 readings from each sample were taken and average values for each parameter calculated.


Hardness: Peak force in first compression cycle (N)
Springiness: Height the food recovers between the end of the of the first and the start of the second.(m)
Adhesiveness: The negative area for the first bite, representing work required to pull the compressing plunger away from the sample. (Joules)
Cohesivness: The ratio of the positive area during the second to that of the first compression cycle
Fractubility: The first significant break in the compression cycle (N)
Gumminess: Calculated parameter Hardness x cohesiveness (N) energy required to disintegrate a semi solid food for swallowing.
Chewiness: Calculated parameter Gumminess x springiness (joules) energy required to chew a solid for swallowing (Joules)


Click to enlarge


The loads increase linearly between the 25% and 50% deformation cycles, while a steep increase and change in characteristics is observed at the higher 75% deformation. 50% gives greatest correlation due to elimination of base effects. While base effect is clearly evident at the higher 75% deformation.


The method follow traditional principle recognized throughout the food industry as indicators of product texture as a means of sensorial correlation and process control. The method is therefore an invaluable tool for both the product developer and the QC departments as a means of consistent quality production and efficient effective product development.

TABLE 1: LFRA Settings

Mode: TPA
Total Cycles: 2
Trigger: 5g
Test Speed: 1mm/sec
Target Unit: % Deformation
Target Value: 25%, 50% and 75%
Load Cell: 4.5 kg