Food crunchiness can be measured, MENDELU scientists have developed a new device

14. 5. 2020
The crunchiness of foods such as chips, wafers, biscuits or chocolate will now be measurable. Researchers at Mendel University in Brno have developed a device designed to monitor the degree of acoustic response to mechanical disturbance of certain types of food. They want to patent their invention. The device will make it possible to compare individual foods with each other and will serve mainly manufacturers as a supplement to standard methods of food quality assessment.

“We test the degree of crunchiness not only at the level normally audible but also at significantly higher frequencies, which the human senses can hardly recognize,” said Petr Dostál from the Department of Technology and Automobile Transport, Faculty of Agriculture.

The principle of operation of the unique device is the amplification, transmission, and visualization of the sound that results from the destruction of the food. Scientists need to normalize the destruction so that the measurements are repeatable and therefore show results that can be compared. “Our goal is to provide a graphical form of sound activity and store other parameters, such as the maximum amplitude of the sound, the number of acoustic events, the number of acoustic overshoots over the limit level, frequency range, etc. Thanks to the recording of these parameters, we can then compare individual foods with each other,” explains Dostál.

According to Dostál, the new device can be used as a supplement to standard methods of food quality assessment. “It is something new, unusual and usually this parameter is not evaluated. The device can be especially beneficial for food manufacturers who need to monitor crunchiness. This applies to those foods where crunchiness is important, such as chips, wafers, biscuits, chocolate, nachos, but also meat products, such as sausages,” said Dostál. The crunchiness of the mentioned foods is given not only by the recipe but also by time. “Over time, the crunchiness changes and the manufacturer needs to know the rate of change and also the effect of the crunchiness by changing the recipe,” Dostál added. The device was developed by scientists as part of a program supported by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic and researchers want to patent it.

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