Food Texture Measurement System Using Rod Type Actuator for Imitation of Human Mastication
Hiroyuki Nakamoto*,, Yuya Nagahata**, and Futoshi Kobayashi*
1-1 Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
**J-Oil Mills, Inc., Tokyo, Japan
Food texture is one of the most important factors in determining the personal palatability of foods, so food companies require food texture measurement and evaluation in developing novel food products. However, instruments are not fast enough or strong enough to imitate human mastication. To measure the textures of different foods, this study proposes a sensor stand that uses a rod-type actuator. The target speed and force of the sensor stand are 100 mm/s and 100 N, respectively. A food texture sensor that imitates the structure of a human tooth is attached to the sensor stand. The sensor stand and a desktop computer make up the measurement system. Using the system, the fundamental characteristics of the sensor stand with the texture sensor are demonstrated. Verification experiments confirm that the sensor stand satisfies the target values of speed and force. Experiments on actual food items also demonstrate the effectiveness of the measurement system in evaluating food textures.
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