Projects per year
Background and aims
Food structure is determined by its composition and the interaction between the compositional or structural elements. Both food structure and the texture perception of foods undergo dynamic changes during different phases of oral processing. During oral processing, both rheological and tribological properties of foods are relevant for sensory perception. The general aim of this thesis was to understand the relationship between the structural properties, rheological and tribological properties during food breakdown, and the sensory perception of foods. More specifically, this thesis aimed to link the properties of food particles in liquid and semi-solid matrices to the tribological and rheological properties, and in this way, understand the sensory perception of these systems.
Fat droplets and micro-particle fat replacers based on protein and starch were investigated. These particles varied in size, morphology, deformability and stability, as well as their interaction with the surrounding matrix. These particles were dispersed in liquid or semi-solid gel phases, forming the food model systems under consideration. The friction and microstructural evolution of food model systems under shear was determined using a mouth-mimicking tribometer connected to a confocal laser scanning microscopy. The viscosities of liquid systems were analyzed using a rheometer, and the large deformation properties of semi-solid gel systems were determined during uniaxial compression tests. The sensory perception of the food model systems were measured using quantitative descriptive analysis. The release and deposition of fat droplets on the tongue were determined using in vivo fluorescence.
Food structural elements could be manipulated to control the tribological properties of food model systems. Morphology, size, and deformability of food particles determine the lubrication behavior of the food systems. Spherical particles with micrometer size were able to reduce friction through a ball bearing mechanism, while irregularly shaped particles increased friction by increasing apparent surface asperity contacts. Deformable particles could flatten the surface by filling asperities, thus reduced friction. Coalescence of unstable droplets could plate-out on the surface and form film patches, thus reduced friction. Other structural elements, such as emulsifiers and sticky molecules, also influenced tribological properties of the systems. Interactions between the food structural elements could influence the rheological properties of liquid and semi-solid food systems. These properties as well as tribological properties were inter-related and all of them affect sensory perception. The inter-relations between physical and sensory properties of food systems were influenced by oral processing, such as oral processing duration and temperature. Furthermore, several fat reduction and replacement strategies were suggested, including increasing the availability of fat that is in contact with oral surfaces, improving the lubrication by ball bearing of particles, and reducing perception of negative attributes such as roughness.
This thesis showed the importance of food particle properties in both the tribological properties and sensory perception of foods, and emphasized the different lubrication mechanisms of different structure elements and their relation to perception. The differences in behavior of food particles between liquid and semi-solid gel systems were highlighted. These findings would enable a better understanding of relationship between food structure and their physical and sensory properties, and this would allow designing or modifying food products with targeted texture and sensory perception.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||15 Apr 2016|
|Place of Publication||Wageningen|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- rheological properties
- fat globules
- sensory evaluation
- simulation models