2003 年 17 巻 3 号 p. 49-58
A multiple-point sheet sensor (MSS) is a powerful new tool for describing food rheological properties. Texture is a most important factor determining the attributes of food and contributes to the quality and palatability in many foodstuffs. Mechanical and geometrical properties are two main components of texture. As food is heterogeneous material, an MSS was introduced to measure the spatial and temporal distribution of stress applied to food samples. The plane surface of MSS consists of many pressure-sensing cells that detect stress. The MSS system displays stress distribution of a surface of sample food that humans sense using many mechanoreceptors on the skin surface. Stress distribution on an interface between a food sample and a probe was measured during compression testing with a universal testing machine. Changes in bite pressure of human molars or incisors were also measured by inserting the sensor with food between the upper and lower teeth during mastication. The active stress (the ratio of total load to contact area) was a good measure for human tactile sense. The MSS could represent both mechanical and structural properties of samples for wide strain ranges.