Some machines are brought into this world with just one purpose. From gauging the squishiness of a fruit to measuring the satisfying crunch sounds of food, these highly specialized devices are strangely mesmerizing to watch. And as funny as they may seem, they’re also integral to mass production, ensuring baseline consistency across, and generating data for, a stunningly wide range of food and drink goods.
Cook’s Science recently rounded up a few of their favorites, including one contraption that tests the smooshiness of a date and another that measures the droopiness and sagginess of French fries (who wants a soft fry?!).
There are tons of machine-manufacturing companies out there that post videos of food-testing online in order to advertise their products. Unfortunately for them, most people just like watching food get crushed. You can binge-watch a wide variety of food being poked, pressed, and prodded in the name of science, like compression-testing pumpkins, or gauging the force necessary to crack candy hearts.
Jam lovers across the globe have this testing machine to thank for the the quality of their preserves. Penetrometers allow companies like Smuckers and Mackay’s to test the viscosity and hardness of jam by, well, poking the jam with measuring implement. Don’t laugh—you might have this guy to thank for your next perfectly-smeared PB&J.
Ever wondered how much exactly pressure it takes to crack an egg? Wonder no longer. Hydraulic presses and compression machines provide exact measurements for the tensile strength of eggshells, which helps during the packaging process to prevent breakage during transportation. Considering that Americans consume roughly 100 billion eggs a year, breakages caused by less-than-optimal traveling conditions could really add up.
For all the toast lovers out there, you can thank conical press jigs for evaluating the hardness and spreadability of butter. Next time you slap some Land O’Lakes on a piece of whole wheat, remember that it was the conical press jig that made your life that much easier.
Quite possibly the most satisfying testing machine to watch, the Lid Removal Device is pretty self-explanatory. Let the metal arm mesmerize you as it pinches and peels the top off of a yogurt cup and what appears to be some sort of airplane food.
Those orange wedges were giving you a hard time? Squish ‘em in an Ottawa cell. This is quite possibly the future of juicing.
For a fresh take on a classic summer snack, check out this seriously satisfying clip of a fruit salad made using a hydraulic press. We wanted to upload a recipe, but we couldn’t fit the hydraulic press into the kitchen. (Disclaimer: This one was just for fun. You don’t need a hydraulic press to make an awesome fruit salad.)