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Appetite. 2009 Jun;52(3):659-67. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.03.003. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Perception of oral food breakdown. The concept of sensory trajectory.

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Nestlé Research Center, Sensory Science Group, Lausanne 26, Switzerland.

Erratum in

  • Appetite. 2009 Dec;53(3):473.


Texture perceived in mouth largely depends on the behaviour of the food when it is broken down and transformed by the mouth elements. Texture results from a dynamic process in which texture attributes are continuously analysed by the oral sensory systems during mastication. However, the particular sequence of perceptual events that occur during oral food breakdown remains unknown. The aim of the present study is to describe the succession of perceptual events that happen in mouth during mastication and to show that for each food a texture pathway can be built. This for, we used a sensory method enabling to evaluate the dynamics of texture perceptions during food consumption: the Temporal Dominance of Sensation. On different breakfast cereals, we measured the sensation dominating at each point of the mastication process. We showed that the dynamics of appearance and disappearance of each texture sensation experienced in mouth during the eating process differed among cereals. However, some common features in this sensory trajectory were also observed for the category of products studied. Hardness, crackliness and crispness were rather perceived at the beginning of the mastication period, brittleness and lightness in the middle and stickiness at the end.

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