Vitamix Develops Blend Quality Index

With high-end power blenders now a key ingredient in the kitchen electrics assortments of many leading retailers, Vitamix has developed what it says is a new standard test protocol for blenders that measures the smoothness and homogenization of the blends produced.

Known as the Blend Quality Index (BQI), Vitamix worked with a third-party organization to develop the standards and is making its methodology open and available upon request.

“Our goal is to get the BQI recognized as a standard test protocol that we would like all blender manufacturers to adopt,” said Anthony Ciepiel, COO of Vitamix. “We worked with a third-party agency to certify the test protocol and validate our procedure. 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.”

In announcing the BQI, the company did not reveal the identity of the third party that worked with Vitamix to develop the protocol.

The BQI test consists of blending dry black beans with water for one minute. According to Vitamix, dried black beans are used 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, the company said.

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 remains. An equation is then used to determine the level of smoothness and homogenization of the mixture.

Company officials said 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 only the power input.