Blog: What did that biscuit just say?

Catherine Sleep | 7 February 2006

According to new research, food talks to us. Well, we’ve been talking to plants for years, but we never expected an answer.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have shown that massive bursts of ultrasound are generated during the first second of biting into crunchy food – and are simultaneously analysed by the ears and mouth.

The discovery of recordable ultrasound pulses is expected to be of interest to food manufacturers, many of whom in the pursuit of the perfect crispy/crunchy texture for their products employ an army of trained tasting panels.
 
An army that could soon find itself redundant? Perhaps so, as the research suggests that the training of human food tasters to measure crispness is probably unnecessary, although they will be needed to calibrate their mechanical successors.

So, yet another human element in the great food manufacturing process falls victim to the machine.

Food physicist Professor Malcolm Povey and an averagely crunchy biscuit

Food talks to us...


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