In plant-based protein research, developers have to answer many questions. How do you make plant-based meat taste like meat? How do you achieve the right texture? While these factors are essential to the success of a plant-based meat product, color is also vital for creating an enjoyable product. Finding reliable methods for measuring this color is key.
Measuring Color With Spectrophotometry
During the development process, researchers can measure the color of their product using a spectrophotometer, an instrument that can replicate the human visual response to color.
A spectrophotometer does this by illuminating a sample using a controlled light source that is first passed through a diffraction grating and separated into its component wavelengths. This light then interacts with the sample and the reflected or transmitted light is measured with a detector to quantify the absorbance and transmittance of the sample.
Transmittance is the amount of light that passes completely through a sample, and absorbance is the light absorbed by the sample. The wavelengths that transmit reflect back to the human eye as color. The spectrophotometer converts the transmittance and absorbance into data for reference.