A producer of ready-to-eat products wanted a way to accurately and objectively determine the degree of 'staleness' of the bread used in their product. This property is critical to the production process.
The 'staleness' or firmness of the bread plays a key role in how it is sliced. If it is too fresh, the product tends to clog up in the slicers. If it is too stale, it produces an undesirable end product for the consumer. At the time, there was no repeatable method to measure, and therefore control this attribute of the product.
Two samples were sent; one fresh and one that was two days old. For each test a simple penetration cylinder probe was used. This made it possible to make measurements on both the crust and the inner body. The probe was moved down until it came in contact with the sample. Then the probe then penetrated the product at 250 mm/min to a distance of 15 mm.