CLOSE
Original image
Yummy Fruit Company

Former Bachelor Contestant Sets World Record for Loudest Apple Crunch

Original image
Yummy Fruit Company

What do you get when you combine noisy New Zealand apples with a reality TV star? A world record, naturally.

“Our main reason for going for the Guinness World Records title was to show the world just how amazing our SweeTango apples are!” Yummy Fruit’s brand manager Emma Wulff explained in an exultant email to mental_floss. “SweeTango apples have cells that are twice the size of other apples', which fracture apart when bitten … creating a HUGE CRUNCH!!”

This might sound like hyperbole, but it’s not. Created by apple breeders at the University of Minnesota, the SweeTango was engineered with acoustics in mind.

“… SweeTango has much larger cells than other apples,” agriculture writer John Seabrook noted in a 2011 New Yorker column, “and when you bite into it the cells shatter, rather than cleaving along the cell walls, as is the case with most popular apples. The bursting of the cells fills your mouth with juice. Chunks of SweeTango snap off in your mouth with a loud cracking sound.”

So if there was going to be a record, the SweeTango was a likely contender. To improve their chances, Yummy Fruit (the company behind the apple variety) recruited fellow New Zealander and former The Bachelor NZ contestant Art Green to execute the record-attempting bite. Green was a good pick; his girlfriend Miranda Rice told The Spinoff that she had previously been “taken aback” by the volume of his chewing. He also has a nice, big mouth. “A big mouth makes for a great crunch,” Yummy Fruit’s Paul Paynter told The Spinoff. “You don’t want any little rat bites.”

Green spent weeks practicing at home. “Fresh apples were delivered to my doorstep almost on a daily basis and I’ve been trying all sorts of techniques. It all comes down to the fruit and the size of a bite. It was a challenge to find out if smaller apples crunch louder than larger and what difference their temperature makes. Honestly, this is apple science at its best.”

The entire wacky situation is unprecedented. Before the Yummy Fruit attempt, there was no Loudest Crunch of an Apple record, so to create a hurdle for Green’s bite to clear, Guinness World Record scientists tested apples. They arrived at a benchmark of 75 C-weighted decibels (dBC).

As you could probably have guessed from the headline, Green and his SweeTango apple succeeded. The record-setting bite rang out at 79.1 dBC, much to the delight of the Yummy Fruit cheering section (you can watch it here).

Official apple chomper Art Green and Yummy Fruit Company chief Paul Paynter. Image Credit: Yummy Fruit Company

“There have been earlier, non-official, scientific attempts to measure the crunch of an apple,” Paynter said in the press release. “However, these were not attempted by a human being and certainly not in an official soundproof environment. Tonight’s success confirms what I’ve always known; in a world of soft mushy apples or hard impenetrable apples, SweeTango really stands out.”

Yummy Fruit is now taking its show on the road, bringing their world record certificate, crates of apples, and a soundproof booth across New Zealand. They’ve also donated 5000 SweeTango apples to families in need.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Food
Does More Fat Really Make Ice Cream Taste Better?
Original image
iStock

Cholesterol. Sugar. Carbs. Fat. As diet-trend demons come and go, grocery store shelves fill with products catering to every type of restriction. But as any lifelong snacker knows, most of these low-sugar/carb/fat options can't hold a candle to the real thing when it comes to taste. Or can they? Scientists writing in the Journal of Dairy Science say fat may be less important to ice cream's deliciousness than we thought.

Food researchers at Penn State brought 292 ice cream fans into their Sensory Evaluation Center and served each person several small, identical, unlabeled bowls of vanilla ice cream made with a range of fat levels: 6 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent, or 14 percent. The participants were asked to taste and compare the samples.

The researchers had two questions: Could participants tell the difference between varying fat levels? And if so, did they care?

The answer to the first question is, "It depends." Taste-testers' tongues could spot the fat gap of 4 percent between dishes of 6 percent and 10 percent. But when that range moved to 8 percent and 12 percent, they no longer noticed. 

More interestingly, reducing fat levels didn't have much effect on their interest in eating that ice cream again. They were equally interested in having a bowl of ice cream that had 6 percent fat and one that had 14 percent.

It's a bit like plain and pink lemonade, co-author John Hayes said in a statement. "They can tell the difference when they taste the different lemonades, but still like them both. Differences in perception and differences in liking are not the same thing."

Co-author John Coupland notes that removing fat from ice cream doesn't necessarily make it better for you. For this study, the researchers used the common industry trick of replacing fat with a cheap, bulk-forming starch called maltodextrin.

"We don't want to give the impression that we were trying to create a healthier type of ice cream," Coupland said.

Original image
CasusGrill
arrow
Design
A Cardboard Grill You Don't Have to Feel Bad Throwing Away
Original image
CasusGrill

Just because a product is built to last doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the environment. In the case of barbecuing, disposable can be a good thing—if it's designed right. The Danish CasusGrill is a cardboard grill made from ingredients that break down quickly without causing environmental damage, as opposed to the aluminum versions (both disposable and traditional) that take hundreds of years [PDF] to decompose, as Co.Design reports.

The exterior is fashioned out of recycled cardboard, with the bottom lined with lava rock to protect the box from burning—and to insulate your hands against the heat, should you want to pick up the grill. The gridiron is made of bamboo, which has a higher ignition point and thus is less likely to catch on fire while grilling than regular wood.

Steak, sausages, and bacon cook on top of the cardboard grill.
CasusGrill

The grill is fueled by bamboo charcoal that gets hot enough to use in five minutes. Traditional charcoal briquettes usually have additives like coal and borax that make grilling a smoggy affair, while bamboo charcoal is a little more human-friendly. (It's the same kind of charcoal that's used in beauty products and those striking black charcoal-flavored foods.)

Based on the instruction video, it seems like the grill is just about ready to use straight out of the box. If you've ever put together an IKEA coffee table, the CasusGrill will be a breeze. You just have to fit a few cardboard pieces together to make the base, attach it to the grill, and light it up. Give it a few minutes to heat up, put the grate on top, and it's ready to go, cooking for up to an hour. When you're done, you can toss it on your campfire, leaving no trace of your cooking process. (Except the full stomachs.)

It's not available on the market just yet, but should be out sometime in August 2017. Go ahead and add it to your summer camping must-have list. You can pre-order the CasusGrill for $8 from The Fowndry.

[h/t Co.Design]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios