This study investigates the effects of fracture strain and fracture stress on oral breakdown, bolus formation and sweetness intensity of semi-solid food gels containing sucrose heterogeneously distributed in layers. The sweetness intensity of gels was mainly affected by the total surface area of gel fragments formed upon chewing. Gels with low values of fracture strain and fracture stress broke down into a large number of small fragments. These gels were perceived sweeter than gels with high values of fracture strain and fracture stress. Fracture strain had a larger impact on oral breakdown behavior and sweetness intensity than fracture stress. Results indicate that the oral breakdown behavior (i.e. formation of a large number of small fragments, which leads to an increase in the total surface area) is the driving factor for taste perception in semi-solid gels that have a heterogeneous distribution of sucrose. We suggest that the differences in sweetness intensity in gels containing sucrose heterogeneously distributed in layers and differing in fracture properties result from differences in the frequency of stimulation of taste receptors. An increase in the total surface area of fragments containing sucrose facilitates the release of tastants and increases the frequency of stimulation of taste receptors. Consequently, the taste intensity of gels is enhanced.
- saltiness enhancement
- sensory integration