Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 345-348

First online:

The measurement of the hardness of margarine and fats with cone penetrometers

  • A. J. HaightonAffiliated withUnilever Research Laboratory

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In order to be able to compare the results of hardness measurements on margarine, fats, shortenings, etc., measured both with cone penetrometers and other rheological instruments, several measurements have been made with various cones and samples. The results obtained showed that the yield value can be calculated from the following formula: C=KW/p1.6 in which C=yield value K=factor dependent on the angle of the cone p=the penetration depth in 0.1 mm. at a penetration during 5 seconds W=the weight of the cone (grams)

This formula appeared to apply for cones with angles between 15 and 90° over a very wide hardness range (between 45 and 8300 g./cm2) for margarine, fat, shortening, and butter.

The advantages of the proposed procedure for determining the yield value are that is is an objective measure instead of a “thumb test;” results obtained with various cones can be compared; and this method is highly suitable for standardizing.