The two main food biopolymers, proteins and polysaccharides, are used in many foods to form structures that are the basis of product identity and quality. One of the main factors determining food quality is texture. A simplistic view of food is that molecules are assembled into structures, and the breakdown of structures during oral processing determines texture. There have been great advancements in understanding mechanisms for how proteins and polysaccharides assemble into structures, and factors determining the mechanical properties of the structures. In contrast, the understanding of how breakdown of structures during oral processing produces specific textural properties is still incomplete. Structuring processes based on protein-polysaccharide mixtures and emulsion gels are evaluated regarding structure formation and texture perception. It is shown that these systems can be designed to modulate specific textural properties. Finally, future trends in this area are discussed.
- Oral processing