Individual differences in food texture perception and preferences: A cross-national study in school-aged children

  • Monica Laureati (Contributor)
  • B. Alfaro (Contributor)
  • V. Lenghard Almli (Contributor)
  • H. Jilani (Speaker)
  • L. Methven (Contributor)
  • M. Sandell (Contributor)
  • P. Sandvik (Contributor)
  • M. Wallner (Contributor)
  • Zeinstra, G. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationProfessional


Texture is reported to be a driver of liking and rejection of many foods in children. However, texture perception and the relationship with food liking are not well understood in this consumer segment. Moreover, it is a relevant topic for cross-national research because differences in the food environment and dietary experiences across cultures influence food and texture preferences. The aim of this study was to explore texture perception in relation to children’s appreciation of biscuits with varying fiber content and to investigate country-related differences. A second aim was to develop a tool to assess individual differences in food texture preferences in children. Preparatory tests were performed with children to select the biscuits, elicit appropriate terms for
a CATA (Check All That Apply) task and develop a picture-based texture preference tool.
For the main study, children aged 9-11 years were recruited in six European countries (Austria, Finland, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Sweden; n 100 per country) in collaboration with local schools and cities. The children tasted eight commercially available biscuits, indicated their liking and provided a CATA description. Additionally, they completed a food neophobia questionnaire and the texture preference tool. The latter was used to segment the children
according to their general texture preferences.
Preliminary results showed country-related and individual differences in children’s liking and perception of appearance, taste and texture of the biscuits. The picture-based texture tool appeared to be a child-friendly and useful tool to segment children into hard- and soft-texture likers.
This cross-national study was conducted by members of the European Sensory Science Society (E3S) Children working group.

Keywords: Children, Texture, Cross-cultural, Preference
Period2 Sept 20185 Sept 2018
Event titleEurosense 2018: 8th European conference on sensory and consumer research
Event typeConference
LocationVerona, ItalyShow on map