Effect of Water Activity on the Sensory Crispness and Mechanical Deformation of Snack Food Products

E. E. KATZ, Ted P Labuza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations

Abstract

Potato chips, popcorn, puffed corn curls, and saltines were equilibrated to various water activities (aw) over saturated salt solutions. Sensory panels determined the crispness and textural hedonic quality of the humidified products by the magnitude estimation technique coupled to a verbal concept scale. Critical water activities (ac), where the products became organoleptically unacceptable, generally fell in the 0.35–0.50 aw range. Instron analyses showed that the force‐deformation curve changed distinctly near the ac for saltines and puffed corn curls, while the curve changed more gradually with increasing aw for popcorn. Potato chips did not produce a consistently shaped force‐deformation curve. The cohesiveness value of popcorn was found to be a good indicator of its sensory crispness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of food science
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1981

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