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Physiol Behav. 2012 Nov 5;107(4):496-501. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 May 15.

Texture and satiation: the role of oro-sensory exposure time.

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Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands.


One of the characteristics of the current obesogenic food supply is the large availability of foods that can be ingested quickly. Controlled nutrition intervention studies have shown that the ingestion of simple energy containing beverages, which are consumed very quickly, do not lead to a lower compensatory intake of other foods. One of the theories behind this observation is that calories that are ingested quickly are not well sensed by the sense of taste, and do not lead to an adequate satiety response. This idea is confirmed by the results of a series of studies, where we have shown that the low satiation/satiety response of beverages can be largely attributed to their short oral residence time. Prolonging the oro-sensory exposure time to foods leads to earlier meal termination and/or a higher satiety response. The low satiation/satiety response to simple energy containing beverages is congruent with the observation from studies on the cephalic phase response to foods, i.e. the physiological response to sensory signals. Energy containing beverages do not lead to an adequate cephalic phase response. Various recent studies showed that slower eating leads to higher levels of satiety hormones. These results are in line with the idea that the sense of taste is a nutrient sensor which informs the brain and the gut about the inflow of nutrients. The sense of taste has an important contribution to the satiating effect of foods. One of the challenges in future research is to see whether or not these proofs of principles can be applied in longer term studies with regular commercial foods. This may make our obesogenic food supply more satiating, and may lead to a lower energy intake.

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