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Physiol Behav. 2016 Oct 15;165:136-45. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.07.010. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Adaptation of mastication mechanics and eating behaviour to small differences in food texture.

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Nestlé Research Center, Vers Chez Les Blancs, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland. Electronic address:
Nestlé Research Center, Vers Chez Les Blancs, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland.


Eating behaviour is significantly modified with the consumption of soft or hard textures. However, it is of interest to describe how adaptive is mastication to a narrow range of texture. ElectroMyoGraphy (EMG) and Kinematics of Jaw Movements (KJM) techniques were used simultaneously to follow mastication muscle activity and jaw motion during mastication of seven cereal products. We show that parameters such as the time of chewing activity, the number of chewing cycles, the chewing muscle EMG activity and the volume occupied for each chewing cycle are amongst others significantly different depending on products tested, even though the textural product space investigated is quite narrow (cereal finger foods). In addition, through a time/chewing cycle dependent analysis of the chewing patterns, we demonstrate that different foods follow different breakdown pathways during oral processing, depending on their initial structural properties, as dictated by their formulation and manufacturing process. In particular, we show that mastication behaviour of cereal foods can be partly classified based on the process that is used to generate product internal structure (e.g. baking vs extrusion). To the best of our knowledge, such time dependent analyses have not yet been reported. Those results suggest that it is possible to influence the chewing behaviour by modifying food textures within the same "food family". This opens new possibilities to design foods for specific populations that cannot accomplish specific oral processing tasks.


Cereals; Eating behavior; Food oral processing; Food structure; Muscle activity

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