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Bolus matters: impact of food oral breakdown on dynamic texture perception

Authors
  • Devezeaux de Lavergne, M.S.M.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
Source
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
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Abstract

Background and aims: Texture is an important, yet complex, quality attribute of food. Food structure and properties can be linked to texture perception during the first bite. However, the perception of attributes during chew down is more difficult to explain, as food requires to be broken down to be swallowed safely. Food oral processing, which is a recent discipline connecting food science to the physiology of the eating process, is considered to be the key for understanding dynamic food texture perception. The aim of this thesis is to understand the link between food properties and texture perception by investigating oral food breakdown, in simple model foods. Methods: Gels were used as a model for soft solid foods. Several properties of the gels were controlled by modifying the composition of gels, including fracture stress and fracture strain, oil droplets binding to the gels matrix, melting, serum release and mechanical contrast. The texture perception of the gels was measured using several sensory methods. Qualitative descriptive analysis (QDA), progressive profiling and temporal dominance of sensations (TDS) were compared in the assessment of dynamic texture perception. In order to link gel properties to texture perception, the oral processing of gels was measured through analyses on the gel bolus and measurements of chewing behaviour. Gel boli were expectorated at various stages of oral processing and were analysed for gel fragments size and number, mechanical properties and saliva incorporation. These analyses were used to quantify the degree of breakdown of gels and to relate bolus properties to changes in texture perception. Chewing behaviour was measured using Electromyography (EMG) to understand the role of oral processing behaviour in bolus formation and dynamic texture perception. Results: Dynamic texture perception of gels could be measured by QDA, progressive profiling and TDS which were complementary methods. Fracture properties of gels could predict the perception of first bite texture attributes. Fracture stress and fracture strain were correlated to first bite firmness and brittleness respectively. During chew down, the link between gel properties and texture perception became less clear. Nonetheless, fracture properties and other gels properties, such as melting and serum release, related to chew down perception. Bolus properties depended on gel properties, but related better to chew down texture perception than gel properties. Mainly changes in mechanical properties and fragmentation of the bolus could explained the perception of complex texture attributes, such as creaminess and graininess respectively. Chewing behaviour depended on products properties. In addition, chewing behaviour impacted the formation of the bolus and could result in differences in dynamic texture perception between groups of individuals. Conclusions: The oral breakdown of food is a valuable input to understand the perception of complex chew down texture attributes. Such an input could be used to design foods with a desired texture sensory profile for reformulation of foods fitting in a healthier diet or foods for target consumer groups.

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