What is Texture Analysis?

Texture analysis is primarily concerned with measurement of the mechanical properties of a product, often a food product, as they relate to its sensory properties detected by humans. Fifty years of texture research has developed a set of definitions relating the sensory properties of a product to the instrumental properties which can be calculated from the results of a two cycle texture profile analysis test. Texture analyzers perform this test by applying controlled forces to the product and recording its response in the form of force, deformation and time. 

whats texture

The above set of graphs show two ways of looking at the data from one 2 cycle Texture Profile Analysis test. The force vs time graph clearly shows 
the force peak resulting from each compression cycle, while the force vs distance graph better displays the response of the sample to the application and removal of strain. 

Primary Characteristics
Hardness Soft →Firm → Hard
Cohesiveness Crumbly → Crunchy → Brittle
Elasticity Plastic → Elastic
Adhesiveness Sticky → Tacky → Gooey
Viscosity Thin → Viscous
Secondary Characteristics
Brittleness Crumbly → Crunchy → Brittle
Chewiness Tender → Chewy → Tough
Gumminess Short → Mealy → Pasty → Gummy
Adapted from Szczesniak, A., Classification of Textural Characteristics, Journal of Food Science 28, 981-985 (1965)

Consumer products succeed in the marketplace in part because customers perceive which "textural characteristics" are desirable. This is certainly true with food products but also applies to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, packaging, industrial materials and even adhesive type materials.