Food texture is one of the major criteria that consumers use to judge the quality and freshness of consumables. When a food produces a physical sensation in the mouth (hard, soft, crispy, moist, dry, etc.), the consumer has a basis for determining the food’s quality (fresh, stale, tender, ripe). A major challenge facing food developers is how to accurately and objectively measure texture and mouth feel. Texture is a composite property related to a number of physical properties (e.g., viscosity and elasticity), and the relationship is complex. Mouth feel is difficult to define. It involves a food’s entire physical and chemical interaction in the mouth. Therefore, it refers to a complex sensory attribute encompassing feeling and trigeminal impulses of texture, heat, coolness, sponginess, lubricity, sliminess, chalkiness, fullness, crispness, flavor, etc.
With the selected ingredients, additives, and flavors in correlation with newly available processing procedures and technologies, food formulators can magically create mouth feels in food products to represent very appealing level of the following characteristics: cohesiveness, density(compactness), dryness, fracturability (crispiness, crunchiness and brittleness), graininess, gumminess, hardness, heaviness, moisture absorption, moisture release, mouth coating, roughness, abrasiveness, slipperiness, smoothness, uniformity(homogeneity), uniformity of bite, uniformity of chew, viscosity, wetness, springiness. etc.
The challenge confronting food designers who want to quantify mouth-feel characteristics using an instrumental technique: How to take instrument readings — measurements of forces, distances, stability, shelf-life, wetting angle, surface energy and surface tension that look like numbers from a physics experiment– and relate them to something meaningful and relevant to what people actually experience when they taste, chew or drink. FDS/SITA’s application experts can help you with their experiences.
Our precision devices which can help you overcome the challenge are: Contact angle meters-A series, Pre-owned DCATs, OCAs, Rheometers RN4.2, LK2.2, SITA tensiometers T100, T15+, Dynotester, and many QC tools for hardness, water penetration, tearing strength, freezing test, etc.