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Texture and breakdown in the mouth: An industrial research approach

Lillford, Peter
Journal of texture studies 2018 v.49 no.2 pp. 213-218
deglutition, food industry, foods, forensic sciences, mastication, microscopy, mouth, product development, rheology, sensation, texture
Texture is one of foods' most important qualities, but is a sensory perception by consumers. To understand, predict and design for sensory appeal, we must codify the sensory response and diagnose the physical stimuli in the mouth which give rise to perception. This brief review examines the leading contributions from Szczesniak and Bourne and shows the developments in the field, built on their earlier contributions. Because of its importance to consumer appeal, the food industry has made significant contributions. We now understand that human subjects monitor the entire process from initial bite, through mastication to swallowing, and the mouth is an extremely sophisticated processing device with both feedback and feedforward sensing. To understand the mechanisms of perception, multidisciplinary approaches of fracture and failure, rheology, tribology and forensic microscopy are now applied, and collaborations exist between sensory analysts, physicists, engineers, and oral physiologists. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The design of food structure for sensory appeal is the driving force in product development. The approaches outlined in this short review, represent the current “toolbox” available to the industry and academics interested in breakdown and perception in the mouth.