What is Crumb Analysis?
When performing quality assessments, the external shape and appearance are important in classifying the baked product, as well as the internal structure of the crumb. Crumb analysis is the visual quantification of the sliced surface area of a product, that is, its internal structure. Since crumb analysis is not quantifiable by the human eye, it is most often quantified by an image analysis method.1
Crumb analysis can be used on most bakery products, after the cross section is accomplished, for any yeast or chemically leavened baked product. Since crumb analysis is not quantifiable by the human eye, it is most often quantified by an image analysis method.
How is it Used?
Crumb analysis provides an objective measurement of the critical parameters relating to the internal structure. It can be used in quality or Research and Development programs to analyze for inconsistencies in the ingredients or process of the baked good.
Sandwich bread is expected to be a fine crumb structure with small cells and narrow cell walls, while Ciabatta bread is instantly recognizable by its open texture of larger cells and thicker cell walls. Crumb analysis on a sliced sandwich bread should show a high number of cells that is uniform in size with equal cell wall thickness. In contrast, crumb analysis on a sliced Ciabatta bread should show a large population of irregular cells with uneven cell walls.
Since crumb analysis is not quantifiable by the human eye, it is most often quantified by an image analysis method.
What are the Parameters Measured?
Most sandwich bread manufactures are interested in shape, size, side wall collapse and a narrow range of small cell diameters, whereas Hearth bread manufacturers prefer a wider distribution of cell diameters and less by their shape characteristics. By accurately measuring these individual characteristics the baker can adjust his formulation or process to improve 2.
Shape & Size
- Slice Area
- Slice Height
- Slice width
- Oven Spring
- Side wall collapse (Concavities)
- Number of Cells
- Number of Holes
- Average Cell Diameter
- Average wall thickness
- Distribution of Cell Diameters (coarse/fine clustering)
- Cell Elongation characteristics
- Degree of Circulation
- Crust profiling (thickness and color)
- L*a*b* color of internal crumb and external crust
- Quantification of internal inclusions
- Quantification of external features
- S.P. Cauvain .The C-Cell image analysis system for objective measurement of bread quality. Proceedings of the ICC-SA/SACB Bread and Cereal Symposium, Johannesburg, South Africa ,2004, pp. 396-402.
- M. Whitworth, S.Cauvain and D. Cliffe. Measurement of bread cell structure by image analysis. In Using cereal science and technology for the benefit of consumers, Proceedings of the 12th International ICC Cereal and Bread Congress, 23rd-26th May 2004, Harrogate, UK, Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Cambridge (Eds. S.P Cauvain, S.E Salmon and L.S Young), 2005, pp.193-198.