X-ray micro-computed tomography of cellular food products

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Modem food processing is increasingly concerned with the production of products with complex aerated microstructures which determine to a large extent the mechanical and aesthetic properties of these products. The development and analysis of such new materials require non-invasive techniques for visualisation and measurement of the internal microstructure. This paper describes the imaging, visualisation and analysis of the three-dimensional (3D) cellular microstructure of a number of food products (aerated chocolate, mousse, marshmallow and muffin) using X-ray micro-computed tomography. A 3D model of the foam microstructure is determined and, by combining image analysis with a stereological technique, quantitative information is obtained on a number of parameters including spatial cell size distribution, cell wall-thickness distribution, connectivity, and voidage. The work shows that X-ray micro-computed tomography is an elegant and useful tool for the study of the 3D structure of cellular food materials. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1012
Number of pages12
JournalFood Research International
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • stereology, electron microscopy, cellular structure, X-ray micro-tomography, foam