Tag Archives: research

Crisp mystery partially solved

Posted on by

One of the ancient mysteries of science is why toasted bread is less filling to eat than non-toasted bread. There seems to be no end to how many toasted slices of bread you can stuff yourself with, but the same type of bread untoasted makes you pretty full pretty fast.

A revolutionary scientific breakthrough was made this evening bringing us closer to the Answer, as researchers Sia and Henrik decided to test one of their hypothesis: toasted bread weighs less and therefore makes you less full.

This unique insight is the result of many years of innovative research and analysis. "The idea just came to us one day" says Sia, modestly explaining this stroke of genius.

The experiments may look simple, but did in fact involve rather sophisticated test equipment and procedures.


Experiment 1: Frozen bread

In this experiment the researches measured the weight of a single frozen slice of white bread.
Frozen

Sample: White bread #36
State: Frozen
Weight: 55.89 grams (as clearly shown in the above photograph)


Experiment 2: Bread at room temperature

In this experiment the researches measured the weight of a the same white bread, but now thawed to room temperature.

Room temperature

Sample: White bread #36
State: Room temperature
Weight: 55.82 grams


Experiment 3: Crisp toast

In this experiment the researches measured the weight of a the same white bread, but now toasted to a crisp.

Crispy toast

Sample: White bread #36
State: Crisp
Weight: 47.11 grams


Experiment 4: Very crisp toast

In this experiment the researches measured the weight of a the same white bread, but now toasted even further to a very crisp, or "well done", state.

Very crispy toast

Sample:
White bread #36
State: Very Crisp
Weight: 10.07 grams


Analysis

The graph below shows how the weight of the bread changes as the bread is processed.

Graph
There seems to be a fairly clear pattern of the weight decreasing as the bread gets more and more toasted. The most relevant case for our studies is that of a slice at room temperature being toasted to a Crisp, as this represents the typical action for a person eating toast. In that case the weight loss was 15.60%.


Conclusion & further research

This experiment provides strong evidence that the hypothesis – that toasted bread weighs less – is correct. However, this does not necessarily mean that weight loss is the only explanation for why toasted bread is less filling to eat.

Toasted bread weights approximately 15.60% less than non-toasted bread.  However, we believe that an average human being can eat more than 15.60% compared to its non-toasted equivalent before feeling full. In fact, personal experience indicates that the factor is somewhere around 105%, i.e. an average human being can eat more than twice as much bread if it (the bread) is toasted.

So if weight is only part of the Answer, what is the rest of the answer? There are several possible explanations, which hopefully will be tested in future research.

  • Toasted (Crisp) bread tastes better. So we eat more, and perhaps don’t feel as full for that reason.
    • However, research is complicated by the fact that the Very Crisp bread sample, as well as the Frozen bread sample, is disagreeable to eat.
  • Toasted bread is warmer than non-toasted, at least initially. There may be a correlation between bread temperature and the digestion efficiency, since the human body is warmer than room temperature. Experiments would have to be made with toasted bread that is left to cool down.
  • Toasted bread contains less water than non-toasted bread, due to evaporation. Experiments could be made with bread that is left out to dry. This, however, has an adverse effect on taste. See the first point above.
  • Environmental circumstances: toasted bread is often consumed with marmelade and tea compared to it’s non-toasted eqvivalent. This might make the digestion process more lean.

In short – Crisp is lean, tastes better, and you can never quite have enough.

We have yet to figure out exactly why this is the case, but the research above has brought us closer to the Answer.