Relationship between the perception of complex textural attributes and the bolus properties of cheese

Huifang Cai*, Etske Bijl, Guido Sala, Elke Scholten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the present study, we investigated the relations between compositional and physical properties, bolus formation and texture perception to better understand complex sensory attributes of cheese. Five commercial cheeses with two fat content levels and varying ripening time were evaluated for texture and flavor using a sensory panel (n = 77), and were also subjected to compositional analysis and instrumental texture characterization. In addition, the properties of boli of the same cheeses expectorated by 20 individuals, including composition, particle size distribution, mechanical properties, and lubrication properties were determined. Our results confirmed that simple texture attributes such as hardness, brittleness and elasticity are mostly related to the mechanical properties of cheeses, such as fracture strain and resilience. To explain complex attributes, like smoothness, creaminess and fattiness, bolus properties became more relevant. Bolus formation was largely influenced by the fat content and the hardness of the cheese. As fat melted during mastication, a higher fat content contributed to the formation of a softer, more cohesive and better lubricating bolus, and the cheeses were perceived as smoother and creamier. When the cheese bolus contained more hard particles, the bolus provided less lubrication (higher μ), and the cheeses were perceived as less smooth. These findings offer new insights into the mechanisms behind the perception of complex texture attributes of cheese. They may contribute to engineering cheese with desired sensory properties based on indications meant to control bolus formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109713
JournalFood Hydrocolloids
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Cheese bolus
  • Complex texture attributes
  • Creaminess
  • Lubrication properties
  • Smoothness


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