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Mechanical tasting: Sensory science and the flavorization of food production
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History, Science and Technology Studies Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2807-6061
2017 (English)In: The Senses & Society, ISSN 1745-8927, E-ISSN 1745-8935, Vol. 12, no 3, 301-316 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper narrates the history of “texturometers”, devices that imitate the human biting mechanism and are used by food scientists inexperiments on food texture. Two interrelated processes, characteristic of the emergence of industrialized food production in the twentieth century, are examined through this history of mechanical tasting. First, the paper surveys the pervasive project of transforming the phenomenological qualities of flavor and food texture into robust “objective” and “standardized” data. In constructing and using biomimetic texturometers, food sensory scientists attempted to translate texture qualities such as tenderness, crispness, crunch and chewiness into codified properties by producing formal definitions and graphical representations – an example of how the pursuit of objectivity and standardized knowledge coevolved with the rise of mass production and the emergence of sensory sciences. Secondly,the texturometers are related to an overall “flavorization”; that is, a historical process by which the complexes of sensory impressions became increasingly important for the production and consumption of food in late-modern industrialized societies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 12, no 3, 301-316 p.
Keyword [en]
sensory history, flavor history, sensory science, objectivity, standardization
National Category
Economic History History of Technology History of Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-337840DOI: 10.1080/17458927.2017.1376440OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-337840DiVA: diva2:1170953
Projects
Smakens teknovetenskaper: Livsmedelsutveckling i Sverige under den högindustriella epoken
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P-16-0411:1
Available from: 2018-01-05 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-01-05

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Publisher's full texthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17458927.2017.1376440

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