Micro-computed tomography shows silent bubbles in squeaky mozzarella

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    The sound of food is of influence on how its flavour is perceived. Although rarely studied in psychoacoustics, cheese may have a resonating internal structure in the audible spectrum. It has been speculated that this structure or small bubbles that are formed as a result of fermentation are responsible for creating audible acoustic responses. The purpose of this study was to design a mechanical methodology to create audible acoustics from cheese samples and to quantify bubble presence in a sample. One hundred and two samples of mozzarella cheese with 1.5±0.4-cm3 volumes were subjected to shear from a wetted steel blade, whilst orthogonal force, blade acceleration, and acoustic response were continuously monitored. In addition, micro-computed tomography was performed. It was found that under our measurement conditions, mozzarella was forced to squeak in 10% of the experiments, at fundamental squeak frequencies up to 2 kHz, which indicates that the acoustics come from a resonating porous structure, rather than from resonating bubbles. The micro-computed tomography showed a bubble density of 51 cm−3 . This low bubble density may account for the absence of a high-frequency component in the spectra analysed. Our results confirm the presence of small bubbles in squeaky mozzarella, but these generate frequencies much higher than those recorded.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-8
    JournalCurrent Directions in Biomedical Engineering
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2023
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Squeaky cheese
    • acoustic food
    • bubbles in cheese
    • poroacoustics
    • soft porous structure
    • μCT

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    • Publication forum level 1


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