Thursday, 16 June 2016

When to pick ripe apples in the fall

When to pick ripe apples in the fall

Using texture analysis to measure apple crispness

Texture analysis simulates the bite of an apple
Biting an apple can be simulated with a texture analyzer
The producer of seasonally harvested fresh produce would like to maximize their yield for the most profitable market. The consumer would like a nice crisp, ripe, juicy apple, enjoyed at the optimum point for consumption. Should production result in more supply than this demand, other consumer products may be suitable as raw ingredient. For a fresh apple, or any similar fruit, the firmness of the initial bite through the skin determines the crispness, and the way the inner flesh yields is an important factor in conveying the ripeness.

What factors affect crispness? And by how much? Is crispness measurable? And so can it be controlled? The FTC texture analyzer can test an apple for crispness. Shearing and penetration -methods which involve the cutting of the sample or puncture of its outer layer - are particularly representative and valuable. Biting, slicing and chewing can be well represented by these techniques.
The apple producer is able to simulate and correlate to whichever scenarios best represents their preferred established quality tests. Penetration is a long-established industry standard method to test an apple for its texture.

The Magness-Taylor probe kit

Penetrometry is used to measure fruit ripeness
FTC Magness-Taylor probe kit
What factors affect crispness? And by how much? Is crispness measurable? And so can it be controlled? The FTC texture analyzer can test an apple for crispness. Shearing and penetration -methods which involve the cutting of the sample or puncture of its outer layer - are particularly representative and valuable. Biting, slicing and chewing can be well represented by these techniques.
The apple producer is able to simulate and correlate to whichever scenarios best represents their preferred established quality tests. Penetration is a long-established industry standard method to test an apple for its texture.

The TMS texture analyser is fitted with an FTC Magness-Taylor probe, developed for fruit penetrometry. A choice of flat or radiused ends are available for different produce or more specific research.

See the video here.

Breeding trials and variety texture comparison

Fruit hardness can be measured scientifically to compare breeds
Bar chart comparing apple varieties
The producer of fresh produce can understand the impact of climate or different farming methods, such as organic, the effect of modifying plant nutrition, or other variables influencing the harvest.
Produce that does not meet the required standards for being marketed in the fresh fruit aisle, can be quickly graded for use in alternative products: tinned, dried, pureed, for fillings, sauces, or preserves.

his quantitative method can also be used to compare varieties of apples to best judge suitability as ingredients for certain recipes, as in our breeding trials case study.

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