[CH] Re: Consumer opinion - Hot sauce selection

Cameron Begg (begg.4@osu.edu)
Tue, 26 May 1998 13:47:32 -0500

Hi C-H's,

Scott Ashkenaz wrote recently on the subject of choosing sauces, and I am
sorry to say that he overlooked some of the most important aspects
affecting such decisions.

The most telling omission from his report was a complete lack of attention
to the matter of bottle symmetry. (Although the author did touch upon
symmetry in relation to color registration.) Taking color swatches to the
store is all very well, but taking a simple spin balancing machine (a small
version of those used for vehicle wheels) reveals much about the varying
thickness of the bottle walls. In addition one can easily spot
eccentrically mounted caps. I might mention in the passing that this is a
particular problem with the well known Chulula brand. Here only one bottle
in 500 has a mean eccentricity variance of less than 0.002" - a situation
which is aggravated by having wooden balls. Note that sometimes eccentric
behaviour is associated with a misshapen neck as well as a poorly fitting

Such a spin balancing device can also reveal much of interest about the
physical properties of the bottles contents. Viscosity may be determined at
the end of a test from the length of time taken for the contents to swirl
to a complete stop. Also the centrifugal action of the rotation presses the
larger particles in contact with the glass enabling particle size
distribution analysis.

I am quite sure that this one simple testing device has convinced many of
you that extra vigilance is necessary when selecting hot sauces. Many
criteria can be added to the above. I hardly need mention that portable
energy dispersive spectrometry equipment can be taken into the store and
used to determine the chemical composition of the glass.

Mr. Ashkenaz needs to concentrate more on the science and less on the
aesthetics of these important decisions.


Cameron a.k.a. Begg.4@osu.edu  Phones:  (614)292 4429 - Office
Campus Electron Optics Facility                      (614)688 3387 - Lab.