Experts have invented a mannequin with a motorised mouth to test the amount of crumbs biscuits produce. Great photo.

Staff at the McVitie’s laboratory in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, designed the Crumb Test Dummy while developing a new orange-flavoured chocolate digestive.

The mechanical dummy is fed biscuits made using different baking techniques to determine a consistency which produces the amount of crumbs consumers have come to expect.

It has plastic teeth and is designed to replicate human eating.

Tests found a 300g packet of the digestives, which contains 18 biscuits, should generate around 1.8g of crumbs when eaten – or between 0.08g and 0.12g of crumbs each.

Liz Ashdown, brand manager at McVitie’s, said: “Eating lots of biscuits is obviously an enjoyable prospect for most people but we haven’t yet found a human who can test on this scale.

“The Crumb Test Dummy has a never-ending appetite and doesn’t need to stop for breath.

“The crumbs produced during the eating of McVitie’s biscuits are an integral part of our biscuits.

“They show that the biscuit has been baked to perfection and this is the perfect way to maintain our high standards and ensure that each new variety of biscuits tastes as good as the last.”

United Biscuits, which owns the McVitie’s brand, has calculated that the 71 million packets of chocolate digestives it sells per year create 127.8 tonnes of crumbs.

More here.