What does the cheese look like on the perfect slice of pizza? Is it golden brown with spots of burnt mozzarella? Do small pools of oil shimmer between blistered cheese? (Try not to drool.)
While the battle between deep dish and thin crust rages on, most consumers agree that good pizza should contain cheese that toasts, burns, bubbles and glistens.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Food Science, scientists from the University of Auckland could help pizza makers achieve an ideal pizza appearance every time. In order to examine how the elasticity, free oil, moisture, water activity and transition temperature of various cheeses (Emmental, Gruyere, provolone, mozzarella, cheddar and more) impact pizza color uniformity, they created a special machine to analyze color variations.
“They developed a machine vision technique coupling careful imaging with quantified image analysis to help quantify a description that can be used by pizza manufacturers to make an appealing product for consumers,” explains the Institute of Food Technologists.
The sensory machine was programed with algorithms that could quantify color and color uniformity.
“The machine vision technique itself turned out to be very repeatable, and the algorithms we were using … give you a very nice tool for quantifying blistering using this idea of color uniformity,” said lead researcher Bryony James, PhD.
Using this technology, pizza manufacturers potentially could attain a perfect, consistent product appearance every time.
See study details below: