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Spectral analysis of the stick‐slip phenomenon in “oral” tribological texture evaluation

Sanahuja, Solange, Upadhyay, Rutuja, Briesen, Heiko, Chen, Jianshe
Journal of texture studies 2017 v.48 no.4 pp. 318-334
astringency, dried foods, emulsions, friction, ingestion, ingredients, mechanoreceptors, model food systems, mucosa, oils, prediction, psychophysics, rheology, roughness, saliva, sensation, silicone, spectral analysis, surface roughness, texture, tongue, vibration, viscosity
“Oral” tribology has become a new paradigm in food texture studies to understand complex texture attributes, such as creaminess, oiliness, and astringency, which could not be successfully characterized by traditional texture analysis nor by rheology. Stick‐slip effects resulting from intermittent sliding motion during kinetic friction of oral mucosa could constitute an additional determining factor of sensory perception where traditional friction coefficient values and their Stribeck regimes fail in predicting different lubricant (food bolus and saliva) behaviors. It was hypothesized that the observed jagged behavior of most sliding force curves are due to stick‐slip effects and depend on test velocity, normal load, surface roughness as well as lubricant type. Therefore, different measurement set‐ups were investigated: sliding velocities from 0.01 to 40 mm/s, loads of 0.5 and 2.5 N as well as a smooth and a textured silicone contact surface. Moreover, dry contact measurements were compared to model food systems, such as water, oil, and oil‐in‐water emulsions. Spectral analysis permitted to extract the distribution of stick‐slip magnitudes for specific wave numbers, characterizing the occurrence of jagged force peaks per unit sliding distance, similar to frequencies per unit time. The spectral features were affected by all the above mentioned tested factors. Stick‐slip created vibration frequencies in the range of those detected by oral mechanoreceptors (0.3–400 Hz). The study thus provides a new insight into the use of tribology in food psychophysics. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Dynamic spectral analysis has been applied for the first time to the force‐displacement curves in “oral” tribology. Analyzing the stick‐slip phenomenon in the dynamic friction provides new information that is generally overlooked or confused with machine noise and which may help to understand friction‐related sensory attributes. This approach allows us to differentiate samples that have similar friction coefficient, but are perceived differently in the mouth. The next step of our research will be to combine spectral attributes, such as the magnitudes of specific wave number bands and possibly their evolution during sliding, together with friction coefficient and viscosity values of foods with sensory results. The highest potential lies in predicting smoothness in opposition to roughness of a surface, such as a rough tongue when eating astringent or dry foods, or of particles when eating grainy foods. The effects of food ingredients at the nano to macroscales can then be used to optimize a specific lubrication behavior.