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Mouthfeel

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Mouthfeel

A girl bites into a peach experiencing a number of sensations including sweetness, juiciness, and a variety of textures, which together constitute what researchers call mouthfeel.
Mouthfeel is a product's physical and chemical interaction in the mouth, an aspect of food rheology. It is used in many areas related to the testing and evaluating of foodstuffs, such as wine-tasting and rheology. It is evaluated from initial perception on the palate, to first bite, through mastication to swallowing and aftertaste. In wine-tasting, for example, mouthfeel is usually used with a modifier (big, sweet, tannic, chewy, etc.) to the general sensation of the wine in the mouth. Some people, however, use the traditional term texture. Mouthfeel is often related to a product's water activity, hard or crisp products having lower water activities and soft products having intermediate to high water activities.

Qualities perceived

  • Cohesiveness: Degree to which the sample deforms before rupturing when biting with molars.
  • Density: Compactness of cross section of the sample after biting completely through with the molars.
  • Dryness: Degree to which the sample feels dry in the mouth.
  • Fracturability: Force with which the sample crumbles, cracks or shatters. Fracturability encompasses crumbliness, crispiness, crunchiness and brittleness.
  • Graininess: Degree to which a sample contains small grainy particles.
  • Gumminess: Energy required to disintegrate a semi-solid food to a state ready for swallowing.
  • Hardness: Force required to deform the product to given distance, i.e., force to compress between molars, bite through with incisors, compress between tongue and palate.
  • Heaviness: Weight of product perceived when first placed on tongue.
  • Moisture absorption: Amount of saliva absorbed by product.
  • Moisture release: Amount of wetness/juiciness released from sample.
  • Mouthcoating: Type and degree of coating in the mouth after mastication (for example, fat/oil).
  • Roughness: Degree of abrasiveness of product's surface perceived by the tongue.
  • Slipperiness: Degree to which the product slides over the tongue.
  • Smoothness: Absence of any particles, lumps, bumps, etc., in the product.
  • Uniformity: Degree to which the sample is even throughout; homogeneity.
  • Uniformity of Bite: Evenness of force through bite.
  • Uniformity of Chew: Degree to which the chewing characteristics of the product are even throughout mastication.
  • Viscosity: Force required to draw a liquid from a spoon over the tongue.
  • Wetness: Amount of moisture perceived on product's surface.

See also

Further reading

  • Dollase, Jürgen, Geschmacksschule [engl.: Tasting School], 2005 Tre Tori, Wiesbaden, Germany (ISBN 3937963200). German-language textbook by a renowned food critic covering some, but not all of the above mentionend properties/mouthfeelings.
  • Katz, E.E. and Labuza, T.P. (1981) Effect of water activity on the sensory crispness and mechanical deformation of snack food products. J. Food Sci. 46: 403–409

External links

  • Snack Foods and Water Activity
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