Spread it on thick? Relative effects of condiment addition and slice thickness on eating rate of bread

Dieuwerke P. Bolhuis*, Matthijs Dekker, Stefano Renzetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Manipulating eating rate (ER) by food properties may enhance or reduce food intake. Within composite foods, such as bread with condiments, the shape of carrier food and the use of condiments are known to influence ER. However, not much is known about their quantitative impacts and interactions. This study investigates the effect of bread slice thickness and addition of condiment on oral processing (ER, chews per g, bite size). In a full factorial design, 30 participants (BMI 21.6 ± 2.0 kg m−2, 23.3 ± 2.1 year) consumed two types of bread (wholewheat (WB); and sourdough (SB)), in three different slice thicknesses (1, 2, 4 cm), with three conditions of margarine addition (0, 2, 4 g per slice of 28 cm2). The results showed that addition of margarine in both breads led to ∼50% higher ER in a non-linear fashion mainly via less chews per g (all P < 0.001). Increasing bread slice thickness in both breads, resulted in ∼15% higher ER, mainly via larger bite sizes (all P < 0.001). The addition of margarine reduced or overruled the effect of slice thickness on all oral processing characteristics (interaction margarine × slice thickness, all P < 0.01). Perceived sensory dryness showed a strong negative correlation with ER. In conclusion, this study highlighted the importance of bread slice thickness, amount of a condiment, and their interactions in controlling ER. Lubrication of the dry crumbs was a main mechanism in controlling ER in this study. These insights can help the design of products with lower ER.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3838-3847
JournalFood and Function
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


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