Towards standard measurement scales for crispy, crackly and crunchy foods

Those involved in the field of ‘Texture Studies’ (with regard to food) often find a need to measure and categorize crispness, crackliness and crunchiness of various foodstuffs (* see example below). For such measurements to be meaningful, however, the methods and terms need to be accurately defined first.

In 2008 considerable steps towards definitions of techniques used to evaluate crispness, and crackliness and crunchiness were taken by MAITE A. CHAUVIN, FRANK YOUNCE, CAROLYN ROSS and BARRY SWANSON of the Food Science and Human Nutrition department at Washington State University, US, with the publication of their paper : STANDARD SCALES FOR CRISPNESS, CRACKLINESS AND CRUNCHINESS IN DRY AND WET FOODS: RELATIONSHIP WITH ACOUSTICAL DETERMINATIONS  

“The developed standard scales for crispness, crunchiness and crackliness for dry and wet foods provide individuals interested in auditory texture evaluation with a starting point to assist in training descriptive analysis of food texture. Although future modifications in reference material, attribute definition or evaluation procedures are expected, this study represents a first step in the generation of reproducible auditory sensory data using standard scales.”

Journal of Texture Studies, 39, (2008) 345–368.

* Note : The 2008 Ig Nobel NUTRITION PRIZE was awarded to Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is. REFERENCE: “The Role of Auditory Cues in Modulating the Perceived Crispness and Staleness of Potato Chips,” Massimiliano Zampini and Charles Spence, Journal of Sensory Studies, vol. 19, October 2004, pp. 347-63.