The role of salivary a-amylase in odour, flavour, and oral texture sensations was investigated in two studies in which the activity of salivary amylase present in the mouth of human subjects was either increased by presenting custards with added alpha-amylase or decreased by presenting custards with added acarbose, an amylase inhibitor. For starch-based vanilla custard desserts, amylase resulted in increased melting and decreased thickness sensations, whereas acarbose had the opposite effect, i.e., decreased melting and increased thickness. Other affected attributes included creamy mouth feel, creamy after feel, and fatty after feel. Creaminess, which is considered to be a highly desirable food quality, decreased by as much as 25% with added amylase and increased by as much as 59% with added acarbose. Neither additional amylase nor acarbose affected sensations for a nonstarch-based carboxy methylcellulose (CMC) vanilla custard dessert. This indicates that the effects of amylase on viscosity-related sensations of starch-based custards, such as perceived melting and thickness, are caused by amylase-induced breakdown of starch. Partial Least Square (PLS) analysis indicated that the effects of amylase and acarbose on perceived creaminess are not only driven by their effects on perceived melting and thickness, but also by their effects on perceived flavour. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- salivary flow-rate