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firmness

Abstract

We measured the firmness broccoli at various cooking times using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and a 2 mm diameter stainless steel puncture probe (TA-52). We intentionally chose not to computerize the testing with our Exponent software in order to replicate possible conditions in QC/QA departments of a typical food processing plant. The broccoli was prepared for testing by trimming off everything but the stalks, which were cut to a uniform length (approximately 120-150 mm) and height (approximately 25-30 mm). The stalks were cooked in rolling boiling water. The stalks were removed using tongs and placed on a cutting board. We trimmed approximately 5 mm off the full width of the stalk in order to minimize the tendency of the broccoli to roll/settle during testing. The broccoli was placed on the test platform, with its flat surface down, within 15-20 seconds of removal from the boiling water.