Main content area

Oral processing behavior and dynamic sensory perception of composite foods: Toppings assist saliva in bolus formation

van Eck, Arianne, Hardeman, Niels, Karatza, Niki, Fogliano, Vincenzo, Scholten, Elke, Stieger, Markus
Food quality and preference 2019 v.71 pp. 497-509
breads, cheese spreads, cheeses, consumers (people), crackers, flavor, mastication, mayonnaise, nutrition, saliva, sensation, texture
Composite foods consist of combinations of single foods, such as bread with toppings. Single foods can differ considerably in their mechanical and sensory properties. This study aimed to investigate the effect of toppings on oral processing behavior and dynamic sensory perception of carrier foods when consumed as composite foods. Two carriers (bread, crackers) and three toppings (firm cheese, cheese spread, mayonnaise) were selected and six carrier-topping combinations were prepared. Mastication behavior, bolus properties (33, 66 and 100% of total mastication time) and dynamic sensory perception were determined for single carriers and all carrier-topping combinations. Both carriers with cheese spread and mayonnaise were chewed shorter and with fewer chews than single bread and crackers, although twice the mass of food was consumed. These toppings contributed to a faster bolus formation by providing moisture, so that less saliva was incorporated into the bolus during mastication. As a result of the moisture incorporation, carrier boli with toppings were softened and perceived less firm and less dry than carrier boli alone. The largest effects of toppings on oral processing behavior and perception were found for liquid-like mayonnaise, and these effects were more pronounced in dry crackers than in moist bread. We conclude that toppings assist saliva in bolus formation of carriers. Carriers drive oral processing behavior and texture perception whereas toppings drive overall flavor perception. This knowledge contributes to food design tailored for specific consumer segments and future personalized nutrition.