Rice Crisps - Firmness Crispiness and Crunchiness

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firmness, crispiness, crunchiness, bulk testing

Abstract

It is difficult to quantify the firmness, crispiness and/or crunchiness of products with highly variable geometries (crisps, flakes, chips, extruded snacks, etc). R&D departments often try to measure individual components, but doing so is highly impractical due to the amount of time required to test them individually, sample handling issues, and high variability. Bulk tests methods which are accurate enough to discern small, subtle crispiness and crunchiness differences are important. The usual techniques for testing bulk samples of highly variable products range from compressing a small grouping of them against a platform or into a container, or shearing them in a Kramer Shear Cell. The most repeatable may be the Kramer Shear Cell, but it can be so awkward to use that too few test replicates are conducted. Additionally, a Kramer Shear Cell does not delineate crispiness and crunchiness as well as it does firmness. Texture Technologies Corp developed the TA-65 Multiple Puncture Rig for use on Stable Micro Systems’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. This study on bulk samples of three brands of Rice Crisps illustrates how SMS’ Exponent software can quantify firmness, crispness and crunchiness.