Comparing the rheology and particle size of  smoothies made with different blenders

Smoothies have been around for the best part of a century although it was not until the development, commercialization and evolution of the blender between 1920 and 1950 that home-made smoothies (in the modern sense) became possible. Their popularity was further accelerated by the health food movement of the 1960’s and more recently the commercialization of dedicated smoothie makers, combined with a trend towards natural and nutritious foods.

In the Oxford English dictionary a smoothie is defined as ‘a smooth, thick drink made with puréed fresh fruit and yogurt, ice cream, or milk’. However, their does not seem to be any fixed rules to what should go in to a smoothie with common additions being vegetables, crushed ice, nuts, seeds and extra juice or water.

What is widely accepted is that a smoothie should be as smooth and easy to consume as possible, aspects which are related to the particle size of the blended components and the viscosity of the suspension. While the viscosity of the blend can be controlled most easily by the choice of ingredients and amount of liquid used, the particle size of a given set of blended ingredients is directly dependent on the performance of the blender. This is often the main criteria that consumers will use to judge the quality of a blender – the taste test.

In this study, two smoothie makers have been evaluated and compared by measuring the particle (fiber) size and viscosity of two smoothie recipes prepared with the different blenders.

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