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Crouton Crunchiness


 

A large processor wanted a way to subjectively measure the differences in their “soft” and “crunchy” products. Current method involves just simple subjective sensory that tends to be inconsistent.

Due to the changes in the incoming raw ingredients, the processing method has to be constantly adjusted to produce a consistent product. The texture of a product like croutons is very important to the consumer. Without the ability to objectively measure this characteristic, it is impossible to control it during processing. The cohesiveness of the product impacts the texture parameter of fracturability, under-which the consumer perception level of crunchy represents a moderate, but ideal sensory response. Soft or over-brittle product is considered less than ideal.

Crouton-samples-for-texture-analysis

Method

It was determined that because of the variation from piece to piece, the Kramer Shear Cell would work best. Instead of testing one crouton at a time, several were tested together so the result is an average of the pieces. This helps to compensate for the variation in the product. For this testing, we used a TMS-Pro Texture Analyser fitted with a 2500N loadcell and the CS-1 Kramer Shear Cell.

This method could also be used with any of FTC texture system. For each replication, 5 grams of product was weighed and place into the shear cell. The pieces were arranged so that they made one even layer in the bottom of the cell. Once the tests were completed, calculations of the peak force and work were made.

 

Significance


• Simple and objective test that very quickly gives results relating the “crunch” of the product
• Eliminates the need for time consuming subjective evaluation
• Allows the processor to put real numbers to changes in process, instead of just an educated guess

Croutons-crunchiness-results-graph

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