A fundamental approach using theories of elasticity to study texture-related mechanical properties of foods

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Anand, Alok
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A fundamental approach was taken to evaluate the mechanical properties of foods, which are often associated with the perceived texture of foods. Indentation test was studied with a fundamental perspective so that the results could be obtained in fundamental units instead of empirical units. Indentation test was used to measure the Young's modulus of elasticity and the yield stress of a model food system. Slabs of 1% agar gel, prepared in three sample dimensions were indented with seven flat cylindrical indenters. Results obtained from the indentation test were compared with those obtained by a uniaxial compression test. It was postulated that the indentation test could be used to measure the fundamental mechanical properties of foods. Effects of sample dimensions were observed and explained on the basis of known physical principles. Results were then extended to a model food system, which could be regarded as a layered composite structure, in a similar way to many examples in the discipline of engineering.In the second part of this research, stiffness and strength parameters of a layered composite food were analyzed by the theories of elasticity and it was found that these theories were also applicable to a layered food system. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)