Bart Cortebeeck, a confectionery application specialist in Cargill’s state-of-the-art European R&D center in Vilvoorde, Belgium, was working on developing new solutions for confectionery gums when he realized that he did not have a good scientific measurement for crunchiness.

“Consumers like to hear and feel a ‘crunch’ when they bite into coated confectionery products,” says Cortebeeck. “The crunch is a combination of auditory and tactile sensation. In that sense, crunchiness is different from hardness. Hardness is a purely physical characteristic of the product as the product is bitten into, whereas crunchiness is related to brittleness. Typically, the harder and more brittle a coating, the crunchier.”

Cortebeeck explains in this article and its companion video how he created a system for classifying the crunchiness levels of  the coatings of various confectionery gums. Cortebeeck and his team worked closely with Stable Micro Systems to use SMS’ Acoustic Envelope Detector and the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer to develop an excellent method to test a product’s crunch.

Read more about how Cargill quantifies product “crunchiness” here.