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strain gage denture tenderometer

Major collection: Science & Technology
Object type: machine
Maker: Brody, Aaron
Place made: United States, Massachusetts, Cambridge, MIT
Date made: c. 1955
Materials: metal; wood; velvet; motors; wire; false teeth
Measurements: 14 in x 34 in x 20 in
Nomenclature: mechanical tools and equipment - measurement devices
Classification: tools and equipment

In the 1950s, the MIT Food Technology Department's food irradiation research represented the cutting edge of the field. Taste-testers noted that one of the key drawbacks to irradiation was the way it altered food texture. Not surprisingly, department chair Bernard Proctor made the study of food texture a priority. Aaron Brody completed his undergraduate degree in 1951 and immediately started his graduate studies under Proctor. His dissertation research studied all the factors affecting food texture, including storage and processing conditions as well as the effects of ingredients and cooking. Brody converted the department's "Strain Gage Denture Tenderometer" into an instrument for the objective measurement of food properties never before accomplished. He gained some unexpected fame when his device was shown in Life magazine, but the most significant result was that the manufacturers could control qualities in process and design future food products with specific properties. [MIT 150 Exhibition label]

More information on the MIT 150 Exhibition website

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