Universal Design Foods is a term for foods that have been designed with consideration to texture or being easy to eat, and which can be used for everything from everyday meals to nursing-care foods. In Japan, with its rapidly aging society, a variety of nursing-care foods are currently available, and such meals must be suitable for patients.
The Japan Care Food Conference has established the Universal Design Foods concept, which is classified into 4 categories by hardness and viscosity. In this article, we introduce a system for measuring hardness.

Measurements and Jigs

Fig. 1 shows a schematic diagram of the test jigs used to evaluate the texture of foods. A cycle of compression and unloading is used to measure the hardness. Table 1 shows the relationship between the categories and the hardness upper limit values.

Measurement Results

Food Hardness Evaluation System

Tester EZ-SX
Load Cell 50 N
Test Jig Universal Design Food Test Set
Software TRAPEZIUM X Texture
Thermostat Thermo-constant cooler/heater
(separately installed)


EZTest Compact Table-Top Universal Tester

  1. Light and compact
    The compact size fits easily on tables. Testing can be performed in a corner of the office.

  2. A high-precision load cell is adopted. (The high-precision type is class 1; the standard-precision type is class 0.5.)
    Accuracy is guaranteed over a wide range, from 1/500 to 1/1 of the load cell capacity. This supports highly reliable test

  3. Jog controller (optional)
    This allows hand-held control of the crosshead position. Fine position adjustment is possible using the jog dial.

  4. TRAPEZIUM X Texture operational software
    This is the optimal software for a variety of pharmaceutical and cosmetic quality evaluations and physical characteristics
    measurements, as well as food texture measurements. It can create flexible control patterns and data processing items specific to foods, including hardness, brittleness, and energy.

  5. A wealth of specialized jigs
    Supporting the many needs of our customers with special jigs and applications for a number of fields, including foods,
    pharmaceuticals, electrical machinery & electronics, and plastics.