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TEXTURE ANALYSIS HITS THE MAINSTREAM 

Stable Micro Systems' Acoustic Envelope Detector provides a quick and easy method of collecting and analysing the noise released by crunchy products as they are deformed.

Stable Micro Systems is proving that texture analysis is not just for technologists after the use of its Acoustic Envelope Detector by top biscuit manufacturer Bahlsen has sparked massive media interest.

The biscuit company has been inundated with visits from leading media companies NDR, dpa, ddp, RTL, SAT 1 and 3 Sat following an article published in news magazine Spiegel detailing tests conducted by Bahlsen to analyse the 'crunch' made by its products. As consumers perceive a sharp, crisp sound emitted when biting into a biscuit to indicate its freshness, Bahlsen has been using Stable Micro Systems' acoustic emissions measurement technology as a key part of product development and quality control.

Interest in the testing carried out by Bahlsen's research and development team has resulted in regional, national and even international media coverage, spanning print, radio, television and the internet. As well as interviews with R & D Manager Heinz-Dieter Lechte, the activity has included filming of the tests as they are performed on Bahlsen's famous biscuits at the company's headquarters in Hanover.

Stable Micro Systems' Acoustic Envelope Detector is used in conjunction with the company's TA.XTplus texture analyser to quickly and easily analyse acoustic emissions and quantify product texture. A highly sensitive directional microphone acquires the acoustic data while the texture analyser itself measures force, distance and time as the biscuit breaks. The procedure gives Bahlsen the confidence that the sounds emitted by its products will maximise consumer appeal.

Ralf Winopal from Winopal Forschungsbedarf GmbH, Stable Micro Systems' distributor in Germany, said: "Texture analysis has become essential for product development and quality control. The media interest in Bahlsen and the Acoustic Envelope Detector shows that everyone, from scientists and technologists to the general public, can get excited by it."

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