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The sound of quality

A crisp crust is an indication of freshness and quality. But how do you measure crustiness? To help our customers improve the quality of their products, we developed a unique testing method.

When buying baguettes, ciabattas or hard rolls, consumers associate a good crust with freshness and quality. Defining crustiness is not easy, though. Which in turn made it hard to assess the impact of efforts to increase a product’s crustiness, or to determine at what point loss of crustiness starts to affect the product’s shelf life.

Measuring crustiness: force and sound 

To define and measure crustiness, we developed an innovative testing method. This method combines a texture analyser with a sophisticated microphone to simultaneously monitor force and sound during compression of bread. Whereas most studies are performed with texture analysers that are equipped with a flat-bottomed probe, we used a V-shaped alternative to puncture the bread crust. This gives a closer approximation of squeezing bread by hand. In combination with the sound recordings, we were able to establish an accurate correlation between the force and sound data on the one hand and perceived crustiness on the other.

Fine-tuning recipes

The new testing method delivers more objective and reproducible results than sensory tests by trained experts. It gives our product developers and quality control experts unprecedented amounts of useful and precise data. This enables them to fine-tune recipes and processing conditions, which in turn enables our customers to create products with the perfect crust and improved shelf life.