Oral processing behavior, sensory perception and intake of composite foods

Arianne van Eck, Markus Stieger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Consumers frequently combine foods with different compositions and properties within a meal or within a bite; for example bread with spreads or vegetables with dressings. Such food combinations are called composite foods. Scope and approach: This narrative review highlights how (1) addition of food particles and (2) addition of accompanying foods influence oral processing behavior, sensory perception and intake of composite foods. Practical implications, knowledge gaps and future perspectives are also discussed. Key findings: Oral processing behavior of composite foods can be modified by changing single food properties. Adding particles, adding accompanying foods or changing single food properties, especially mechanical properties, shape and concentration, are promising approaches to influence eating rate and thereby energy intake. In addition, sensory perception of composite foods is complex, as interactions between foods in mouth imply significant changes in sensory perception. Consequently, sensitivity to discriminate between foods is reduced when a food is assessed together with an accompanying food. Conclusions: This review highlights how structural transitions of composite foods during mastication contribute to oral processing behavior, perception and intake of composite foods. This is of particular interest in the design of healthy or sustainable produced foods, for which assuring excellent sensory quality still poses a challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-231
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Eating rate
  • Food intake
  • Maximum of 6 composite foods
  • Oral processing behavior
  • Sensory perception


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