Age, gender, ethnicity and eating capability influence oral processing behaviour of liquid, semi-solid and solid foods differently

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Abstract

Food oral processing depends on food properties and consumer characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of age, gender, ethnicity and eating capability on oral processing behaviour of liquid, semi-solid and solid foods. Oral processing behaviour of 18 commercially available foods, ranging from liquids, semi-solids to solids, was compared between Dutch, Caucasian adults (18-30 yrs), Chinese, Asian adults (18-30 yrs), Dutch, Caucasian elderly (60-80 yrs), and consumers with mild swallowing problems and/or low mastication efficiency (18-80 yrs). Participants were video recorded during food consumption and six oral processing parameters extracted. Elderly consumed all foods with lower eating rates (g/s) than young adults by increasing consumption time (s). Females consumed solid foods with lower eating rates (g/s) than males by reducing bite size (g). Chinese, Asian consumers consumed liquid and solid foods with lower eating rates (g/s) than Dutch, Caucasian consumers by reducing bites size (g). Chinese, Asian consumers consumed semi-solid foods with lower eating rates (g/s) than Dutch, Caucasian consumers by reducing bite size (g) and increasing consumption time (s). Consumers with decreased mastication efficiency or mild swallowing problems showed similar oral processing behaviour than healthy consumers, probably because reduction in eating capability was limited in the group. This demonstrates that different consumer groups adapt eating rate (g/s) in different ways by modifying bite size (g), consumption time (s) or both. To conclude, age, gender and ethnicity influence oral processing behaviour of liquid, semi-solid and solid foods differently. Understanding differences in oral processing behaviour of specific consumer groups can assist in steering sensory perception, food choice and energy intake of specific consumer groups such as the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
JournalFood Research International
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • Age
  • Eating capability
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Inter-individual variation
  • Oral processing

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