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Raw Asparagus Fibrousness


 

Fibrousness of asparagus is an extremely important factor of quality for both the raw and processed product. The TMS-Pro System equipped with a single blade test cell can be used to determine fibrousness or the actual weight or yield of the processed product from tests on the raw product. This prediction of stalks or cuts free of objectionable fiber can be used as a basis of raw product payment or for determining whether to use or discard certain portions of the spear.

Asparagus-firmness-sample

Equipment


Model TMS-Pro with a 1000 Newton load cell and, TMS Light Weight Blade Set. Test speed set to 7 inches per minute in the downward direction and full speed on the return.

Sample Preparation 


Obtain a representative sample from the lot to be tested. Divide sample into bundles three inches in diameter, bound together with a rubber band after making all the tip ends even.

Test Procedure


  • Place sample bundle in test cell so as to shear at that point on the stalks where the quality is of interest. For example, if packing 4.5 inch whole spears, shear 4.5 inches from the tips. If packing cuts and pieces, shear at that point where cuts are to be made on the stalks.
  • Average the shear values from 3 to 5 bundles. The number of bundles to be tested from each sample will depend on the lot size and variability. Also, the closer you shear to the butt end (the stalk cut closest to the plant root) the more bundles should be sheared for the sample since fiber variability increases towards the butt end.
  • The average sample value (pounds force) can then be referred to the table below for percent usable (no objectionable fiber) asparagus. The percent usable asparagus value can then be multiplied times the total weight of the lot to arrive at a usable or pay-weight basis. The test cell should be washed in water frequently enough to prevent juices from drying on the cell.
table007

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