Relationship between water activity, deformation speed, and crispness characterization

E.M. Castro Prada, C. Primo Martin, M.B.J. Meinders, R.J. Hamer, T. van Vliet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Very little is known on the rate dependency of the fracture behavior of crispy products as a function of water activity (Aw). Therefore, the effect of deformation speed on instrumental and sensory crispness was studied as a function of Aw. Deformation speed clearly affects the transition Aw range from crispy to non-crispy. At low deformation speed, the critical Aw was 0.40 ± 0.02 and at high deformation speed between 0.5 and 0.6. The transition was completed at an Aw = 0.56 ± 0.10 and 0.74 ± 0.00 for the low and high speed, respectively. The transition of sensory crispness at regular biting speed started at Aw = 0.48 and was completed at Aw = 0.75. The deformation speed effect is assumed to be caused by the viscoelastic nature of the material in the transition region causing it to behave locally relatively more viscous at low deformation speed and relatively more elastic at high deformation speed. This behavior depends on the plasticizer content, thus, Aw. For the product used in this study, the instrumental deformation speed that best correlate to sensory data is 10 to 40 mm/s. Sensory tests show that crispy attributes are perceived more intense when biting at higher speed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-156
JournalJournal of Texture Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • instrumental imitative tests
  • fast crack-propagation
  • cereal-based products
  • snack food-products
  • uniaxial compression
  • breakfast cereals
  • fracture properties
  • biting velocities
  • sensory crispness
  • hardness


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