Effect of water activity on the crispiness of a biscuit (Crackerbread): Mechanical and acoustic evaluation

J. M. Arimi, E. Duggan, M. O'Sullivan, J. G. Lyng, E. D. O'Riordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to use mechanical and acoustic methods developed in our laboratory to monitor the changes in crispiness of a Crackerbread biscuit following equilibration at different water activities (aw). Crackerbread samples were equilibrated at aw of 0.113-0.98. The equilibrated Crackerbread samples were punctured with a cylindrical probe (5mm) using an Instron Universal Testing Machine. The force and acoustic signals were simultaneously captured using Labview software. Changes in parameters associated with crispiness were modelled using Fermi's equation. The number of sound peaks, force and sound curve lengths and area under sound amplitude-time curve decreased with increasing aw. The sound frequency decreased linearly (R2=0.926) with increasing aw. The critical water activity (awc) of Crackerbread ranged between 0.51 and 0.59. Acoustic parameters were more sensitive to aw-induced changes in Crackerbread occurring at awc than mechanical parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1650-1655
Number of pages6
JournalFood Research International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic
  • Biscuit
  • Crispiness
  • Critical water activity


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