Smoothie wars! The Bullet versus the Ninja


Smoothies have been around for the best part of a century although it was not until the development, commercialization and evolution of the blender between 1920 and 1950 that home-made smoothies (in the modern sense) became possible. Their popularity was further accelerated by the health food movement of the 1960s and more recently the commercialization of dedicated smoothie makers such as the NutriBullet and Nutri Ninja combined with a trend towards natural and nutritious foods have revolutionized the industry.

In the Oxford English dictionary, a smoothie is defined as ‘a smooth, thick drink made with puréed fresh fruit and yogurt, ice cream, or milk’. However, there does not seem to be any fixed rules to what should go into a smoothie with common additions being vegetables, crushed ice, nuts, seeds and extra juice or water.

What is widely accepted is that a smoothie should be as smooth and easy to consume as possible, aspects which are dependent on the particle size of the blended components and the viscosity of the dispersion. While the viscosity of the blend can be controlled most easily by the choice of ingredients and amount of water used, the particle size of a given set of blended ingredients is directly dependent on the performance of the blender. This is often the main criteria that consumers will use to judge the quality of a product – the taste test.

In this study, two smoothie makers have been investigated and compared - the Nutri Ninja Pro and the NutriBullet - by measuring the particle (fibre) size and viscosity of two different recipes made with the different blenders.

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