Instant pudding is made by mixing milk with a package of dry ingredients. A variety of factors affect whether the pudding achieves its target firmness. When consumers make pudding, they can mess it up several ways, and the manufacturer still wants an acceptable product for consumption. It is possible that the consumer uses the wrong amount of milk (either too much or too little), uses various types of milk or milk-like products, or may not use the full package of the dry ingredients. The consumer can overmix or undermix the product or serve it before it adequately sets. While it is possible that the manufacturer provides the wrong amount of dry ingredient, it is more likely that the ingredients simply gel too firmly or weakly. Shelf life may also be an issue. In all situations, however, retail consumers expect the target pudding firmness, so it is important that the pudding’s firmness able to be measured and consistently delivered.