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J Oral Rehabil. 2013 Feb;40(2):99-105. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2012.02344.x. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Fully automatic measuring system for assessing masticatory performance using β-carotene-containing gummy jelly.

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Development Center for Evaluating Masticatory Function, Venture Business Laboratory, Office for University-Industry Collaboration, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


Despite the importance of masticatory performance in health promotion, assessment of masticatory performance has not been widely conducted to date because the methods are labour intensive. The purpose of this study is to investigate the accuracy of a novel system for automatically measuring masticatory performance that uses β-carotene-containing gummy jelly. To investigate the influence of rinsing time on comminuted jelly pieces expectorated from the oral cavity, divided jelly pieces were treated with two types of dye solution and then rinsed for various durations. Changes in photodiode (light receiver) voltages from light emitted through a solution of dissolved β-carotene from jelly pieces under each condition were compared with those of unstained jelly. To investigate the influence of dissolving time, changes in light receiver voltage resulting from an increase in division number were compared between three dissolving times. For all forms of divided test jelly and rinsing times, no significant differences in light receiver voltage were observed between any of the stain groups and the control group. Voltages decreased in a similar manner for all forms of divided jelly as dissolving time increased. The highest coefficient of determination (R(2)  = 0·979) between the obtained voltage and the increased surface area of each divided jelly was seen at the 10 s dissolving time. These results suggested that our fully automatic system can estimate the increased surface area of comminuted gummy jelly as a parameter of masticatory performance with high accuracy after rinsing and dissolving operations of 10 s each.

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