Vitamix Introduces the Blend Quality Index™ (BQI)
New Test Protocol Demonstrates What High-Performance Blending Really Is 02/12/2016
CLEVELAND – Vitamix, the company that introduced high-performance blending to the market decades ago, worked with a third-party organization to develop a new standard test protocol for high-performance blending that measures the smoothness and homogenization of its blends – the qualities that make a smoothie smoother, or a puree that is proudly served by some of the world’s most particular and demanding chefs.
The company is making its methodology open and available upon request in hopes that this protocol will become the standard test for high-performance blenders. While many companies claim their blenders are high-performance, this index demonstrates the clear difference to help consumers choose the right machine for them in a market that is more crowded with competitors every day.
The Blend Quality Index (BQI) is a test that consists of blending dry black beans with water for one minute. Dried black beans are one of the best food substances to use because the test is repeatable. They are consistent in size and moisture content, and their high fiber content makes them difficult to blend as the blend becomes finer.
After blending, the mixture is strained through a series of sieves that range in fineness. The sieves are put through a device that shakes the mixture through them, and each sieve is weighed to see what is left. An equation is then used to determine the level of smoothness and homogenization of the mixture.
In tests in the U.S., a higher BQI meant a better blend. Vitamix performed 10 times better than other top-selling blenders, which means dramatically smoother results than blenders that claim to blend just as well as Vitamix. For consumers, a blender with a high BQI makes it easier to incorporate whole foods such as kale, seeds and frozen fruit into their diets, or into the diets of their families, all while tasting great.
The technical team from Vitamix worked to design the BQI so it would easily indicate and differentiate the performance of any blender, under test conditions that are easily repeatable and relevant to consumers.
A major component of the BQI is that it tests machines “under load,” or with ingredients in the container. This simulates how consumers actually use blenders – not with empty containers as some may test today. It also measures the actual power that blenders apply to a blend, not simply the power input itself.
The results were striking. “We found that the performance of other machines drops sharply – drastically even – when their blenders are tested under load; that is, with food in the container,” says Mark Fleming, Vice President of Product Management for Vitamix. “Conversely, at Vitamix, we design our machines to maintain speed under load. The Vitamix 7500, for instance, measured 16,000 RPM under a rated load of 1380 watts. Simply put, our blades spin faster when blending food than competitive machines tested, which ensures an exceptional blend. Other blenders simply mix and stir and slow down dramatically even with just water in their containers."
“Our goal is to get the BQI recognized as a standard test protocol that we would like all blender manufacturers to adopt,” says Anthony Ciepiel, COO of Vitamix. “So we worked with a third-party agency to certify the test protocol and validate our procedure. Every day we are asked, ‘What makes Vitamix different from other companies’ products?’ We are confident that with the BQI we can demonstrate those differences quickly and visually to help set an even playing field for the entire industry. We even recognize that some models of other high-performance blenders may rival our performance. But in the end, we want to make sure that consumers can make an educated decision in their purchase of a high-performance blender that will truly impact their lifestyle, hopefully for years to come.”
Vitamix® blenders are designed as a complete and efficient system – from the motor to the container and the blade assembly. Vitamix machines can also blend with containers filled to full capacity, while others cannot. This inability indicates inefficient power transfer from the motor to the blend, so that consumers cannot blend large amounts without risk of overheating their machines. In addition, the blades of Vitamix blenders are integrated into the containers and are made from hardened, high-grade stainless steel for durability. Vitamix blades have flat leading edges, which pulverize ingredients and give the same quality blend even after years of typical usage.
For more information on the Blend Quality Index test protocol, to speak with one of our technical experts, or to request a demonstration of the BQI, please contact us. Vitamix will also be exhibiting at the Ambiente Show in Frankfurt, Germany, February 12-16, and at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, March 5-8. We would be glad to schedule time with you to demonstrate the BQI and share more detail on our methodology and specifications.
The Vitamix family of companies is privately held and family-owned and -operated. Founded in 1921, Vitamix manufactures high-performance blending equipment for home and commercial use. Its commercial customer list reads like a “Who’s Who” of major restaurant chains, and gourmet chefs say their Vitamix machines are as important to them as their knives. A recognized leader in marketing and product innovation, Vitamix founder William G. “Papa” Barnard created one of the first infomercials in 1949 to demonstrate how the Vitamix blender could help people improve their health with whole foods, and the company developed the first true commercial blender in the early 1990s, which ignited the smoothie movement. Vitamix, whose products are known worldwide for their performance, durability, and reliability, continues to win awards for product innovation and is a recipient of the president’s prestigious “E Star” Award for Exports. Headquartered in Olmsted Township, Ohio, 19 miles from Cleveland, Vitamix products are engineered and assembled in Northeast Ohio and sold in approximately 140 countries. For more information, please visit www.vitamix.com.