The way a food feels in the mouth, the crunch, the munch, the bite, the swallowing has an enormous bearing on how we perceive a product. It tells us how fresh it might be or how stale – ever eaten a soft biscuit and known that it was probably a number of months old. We use texture as a measure of food quality and it is a critical driver of consumer acceptance as well as sensory perception, and so its investigation and analysis are all important aspects of sensory science (Guinard and Mazzucchelli, 1996; Szczesniak 2002).
Understanding the mechanisms of food structure are an important aspect of sensory research. A common definition by one famous sensory expert states:-
“texture is the sensory and functional manifestation of the structural, mechanical and surface properties of foods detected through the senses of vision, hearing, touch and kinesthetics” (Szczesniak 2002).
Texture of a food is generally difficult to define as each of us has a different perception of it and there is an inherent complexity in the term used. It is also becoming an important element in whether we feel full or not (satiation) and satiety itself (de Graaf and Kok, 2010).
The investigation of food texture can be broken down into three main areas of study and these are:-
♦ the formation and stabilisation of food structures during preparation, processing and storage
♦ the change in food structure during mastication, eating and oral processing
♦ the changes in sensory perception of texture during oral processing. (Chen and Opara, 2013).
If you would like to know more about this property of your food, Insights2Innovate can help you understand texture then don’t hesitate to call them to find out more.
Chen, J. (2009) Food oral processing—A review. Food Hydrocoll. 23 pp. 1–25.
Chen, L., & Opara, U. L. (2013). Texture measurement approaches in fresh and processed foods—A review. Food Research International, 51(2), pp. 823-835.
Guinard, J. X., & Mazzucchelli, R. (1996). The sensory perception of texture and mouthfeel. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 7(7), pp. 213-219.
Szczesniak, A.S. (2002) Texture is a sensory property. Food Qual. Pref. 13 pp. 215–25.