How Science Measures Food: Cheese Stretchiness, Radiation in Bananas, and More

The precise tuggability of a piece of mozzarella must not be left indeterminate

For consumers judging a piece of meat behind plastic wrap, there's not much to go on besides color. That's why researchers developed a six-point gradient scale for pork, using Japanese resin molds. (A three, four, or five is best for the Japanese market.) An instrument called a color meter is also used to measure the light reflected off differently colored cuts, producing a more objective measurement. Prairie Swine Centre

Taste is a highly subjective thing. But when science gets involved, things have to be measured, and the measurements must be exact.

Here are 11 ways that food is precisely measured. Bitterness can be determined based on a specific scale, and the amount of sucrose in a solution can be easily calculated. Some others are a little more esoteric: stretching cheese to measure its texture; determining the color of a beer based on how much light passes through it; testing the strength of coffee.

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