is a product’s physical and chemical
interaction in the mouth. It is a concept used in many areas related to the testing and evaluating of foodstuffs, such as wine-tasting
. It is evaluated from initial perception on the palate
, to first bite, through mastication
. In wine-tasting, for example, mouthfeel is usually used with a modifier (big, sweet, tannic, chewy, etc.) to the general sensation of the wine in the mouth. Some people, however, still use the traditional term, "texture".
Mouthfeel is often related to a product's water activity, hard or crisp products having lower water activities and soft products having intermediate to high water activities.
Modifiers of foodstuffs
Common modifiers in relation to the texture of foodstuffs include:
- Adhesiveness: Force required to remove the material that adheres to a specific surface (e.g., lips, palate, teeth).
- Bounce/Springiness: The resilience rate at which the sample returns to the original shape after partial compression.
- Chewiness: Number of chews (at 1 chew/sec) needed to masticate the sample to a consistency suitable for swallowing.
- Coarseness: Degree to which the mass feels coarse during product mastication.
- Cohesiveness: Degree to which the sample deforms before rupturing when biting with molars.
- Denseness: Compactness of cross section of the sample after biting completely through with the molars.
- Dryness: Degree to which the sample feels dry in the mouth.
- Fracturability: Force with which the sample crumbles, cracks or shatters. Fracturability encompasses crumbliness, crispiness, crunchiness and brittleness.
- Graininess: Degree to which a sample contains small grainy particles.
- Gumminess: Energy required to disintegrate a semi-solid food to a state ready for swallowing.
- Hardness: Force required to deform the product to given distance, i.e., force to compress between molars, bite through with incisors, compress between tongue and palate.
- Heaviness: Weight of product perceived when first placed on tongue.
- Moisture absorption: Amount of saliva absorbed by product.
- Moisture release: Amount of wetness/juiciness released from sample.
- Mouthcoating: Type and degree of coating in the mouth after mastication (for example, fat/oil).
- Roughness: Degree of abrasiveness of product's surface perceived by the tongue.
- Slipperiness: Degree to which the product slides over the tongue.
- Smoothness: Absence of any particles, lumps, bumps, etc., in the product.
- Uniformity: Degree to which the sample is even throughout.
- Uniformity of Chew: Degree to which the chewing characteristics of the product are even throughout mastication.
- Uniformity of bite: Evenness of force through bite.
- Viscosity: Force required to draw a liquid from a spoon over the tongue.
- Wetness: Amount of moisture perceived on product's surface.
- Dollase, Jürgen, Geschmacksschule [engl.: Tasting School], 2005 Tre Tori, Wiesbaden, Germany (ISBN 3937963200). German language textbook by a renowned food critic covering some, but not all of the above mentionend properties/mouthfeelings.
- http://www.decagon.com/food_science/info/safety.php Stability diagram outlining ranges where product crispness is lost.
- Katz, E.E. and Labuza, T.P. (1981) Effect of water activity on the sensory crispness and mechanical deformation of snack food products. J. Food Sci. 46: 403-409