What do you get when you combine noisy New Zealand apples with a reality TV star? A world record, naturally.
“Our main reason for going for the Guinness World Records title was to show the world just how amazing our SweeTango apples are!” Yummy Fruit’s brand manager Emma Wulff explained in an exultant email to mental_floss. “SweeTango apples have cells that are twice the size of other apples', which fracture apart when bitten … creating a HUGE CRUNCH!!”
This might sound like hyperbole, but it’s not. Created by apple breeders at the University of Minnesota, the SweeTango was engineered with acoustics in mind.
“… SweeTango has much larger cells than other apples,” agriculture writer John Seabrook noted in a 2011 New Yorker column, “and when you bite into it the cells shatter, rather than cleaving along the cell walls, as is the case with most popular apples. The bursting of the cells fills your mouth with juice. Chunks of SweeTango snap off in your mouth with a loud cracking sound.”
So if there was going to be a record, the SweeTango was a likely contender. To improve their chances, Yummy Fruit (the company behind the apple variety) recruited fellow New Zealander and former The Bachelor NZ contestant Art Green to execute the record-attempting bite. Green was a good pick; his girlfriend Miranda Rice told The Spinoff that she had previously been “taken aback” by the volume of his chewing. He also has a nice, big mouth. “A big mouth makes for a great crunch,” Yummy Fruit’s Paul Paynter told The Spinoff. “You don’t want any little rat bites.”
Green spent weeks practicing at home. “Fresh apples were delivered to my doorstep almost on a daily basis and I’ve been trying all sorts of techniques. It all comes down to the fruit and the size of a bite. It was a challenge to find out if smaller apples crunch louder than larger and what difference their temperature makes. Honestly, this is apple science at its best.”
The entire wacky situation is unprecedented. Before the Yummy Fruit attempt, there was no Loudest Crunch of an Apple record, so to create a hurdle for Green’s bite to clear, Guinness World Record scientists tested apples. They arrived at a benchmark of 75 C-weighted decibels (dBC).
As you could probably have guessed from the headline, Green and his SweeTango apple succeeded. The record-setting bite rang out at 79.1 dBC, much to the delight of the Yummy Fruit cheering section (you can watch it here).
Official apple chomper Art Green and Yummy Fruit Company chief Paul Paynter. Image Credit: Yummy Fruit Company
“There have been earlier, non-official, scientific attempts to measure the crunch of an apple,” Paynter said in the press release. “However, these were not attempted by a human being and certainly not in an official soundproof environment. Tonight’s success confirms what I’ve always known; in a world of soft mushy apples or hard impenetrable apples, SweeTango really stands out.”
Yummy Fruit is now taking its show on the road, bringing their world record certificate, crates of apples, and a soundproof booth across New Zealand. They’ve also donated 5000 SweeTango apples to families in need.