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Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug;90(2):269-75. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27694. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Effect of bite size and oral processing time of a semisolid food on satiation.

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Top Institute Food and Nutrition, Wageningen, Netherlands.



Food texture plays an important role in food intake regulation. In previous studies we showed a clear effect of viscosity on ad libitum food intake and found indications that eating rate, bite size, and oral processing time (OPT) could play a role.


The objective was to determine the effect of bite size and OPT of a food on satiation, defined as ad libitum food intake.


Twenty-two healthy subjects participated in all 7 test conditions. Bite sizes were free or fixed to small bite sizes ( approximately 5 g) or large bite sizes ( approximately 15 g). OPT was free (only in combination with free bite size) or fixed to 3 or 9 s. Subjects consumed chocolate custard through a tube, which was connected to a peristaltic pump. Sound signals indicated OPT duration.


Subjects consumed significantly more when bite sizes were large than when they were small (bite size effect: P < 0.0001) and when OPT was 3 s rather than 9 s (OPT effect: P = 0.008). Under small bite size conditions, mean (+/-SD) ad libitum intakes were 382 +/- 197 g (3-s OPT) and 313 +/- 170 g (9-s OPT). Under large bite size conditions, ad libitum intakes were much higher: 476 +/- 176 g (3-s OPT) and 432 +/- 163 g (9-s OPT). Intakes during the free bite size conditions were 462 +/- 211 g (free OPT), 455 +/- 197 g (3-s OPT), and 443 +/- 202 g (9-s OPT).


This study shows that greater oral sensory exposure to a product, by eating with small bite sizes rather than with large bite sizes and increasing OPT, significantly decreases food intake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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