BCU – Baking Contrast Units

Baking Contrast quantifies lightness of baked crust, crumb and similar applications. Monitoring lot differences in fresh bread and cookies is a typical application but BCU can be applied to monitor browning in any baked product.

Measuring BCU lightness of bread tops.

Measuring BCU lightness of bread tops.

BC or BCU – Baking Contrast Units is defined as:

BCU = log2 (Y/2.5)

 where Y = CIE Tristimulus Y brightness value for D65/10 illuminant/observer conditions.

The BCU range will be from 0.00 (darkest) – 5.25 (lightest) BCU.

A difference of 0.1 BCU units is estimated to be a visual difference in the product.

Breaded chicken meat nuggets showing Light-Target-Dark grades

Breaded chicken meat nuggets showing Light-Target-Dark grades

Typical acceptable differences are larger than 0.1 and are user-defined for a given baked product.

Implementation of BCU in HunterLab Instruments

The portable MiniScan EZ 45/0 LAV and the mini-bench ColorFlex EZ 45/0 LAV are typically used for baking applications with firmware modification to add BCU as a color scale.

  • CMR-3115 BCU-Baking Contrast Units for MiniScan EZ 45/0 LAV
  • CMR-3116 BCU-Baking Contrast for ColorFlex EZ 45/0 LAV

Provides modified firmware to include the BCU-Baking Contrast Units scale D65/10 used in measuring baked crust, crumb and similar applications.

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