Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Biscuits aimed at the older eater: Faced with the grim reality of a declining number of sweet-toothed youngsters, one of Japan's biggest confectioners is re-tooling itself for the swelling ranks of weak-jawed oldies. As the greying of Japan's population begins in earnest because of the plunging birthrate, biscuits [cookies] and other products are being redesigned with a simple remit in mind: they should look like the original, taste like the original and the first bite should crunch like the original. But after that they must dissolve instantly so as not to strain ageing jaws. The company, Ezaki Glico, is a global leader in the cutting-edge science of "biteability". Deep among the bubbling flasks and test tubes of Glico's central research laboratory in Osaka lies the world's most sophisticated electronic gauge of a biscuit's crunchiness..."

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