INTRODUCTION: Patients who suffer from chewing and swallowing disorders, i.e. dysphagia, may have difficulties ingesting normal food and liquids. In these patients a texture modified diet may enable that the patient maintain adequate nutrition. However, there is no generally accepted definition of 'texture' that includes measurements describing different food textures.
OBJECTIVE: Objectively define and quantify categories of texture-modified food by conducting rheological measurements and sensory analyses. A further objective was to facilitate the communication and recommendations of appropriate food textures for patients with dysphagia.
DESIGN: About 15 food samples varying in texture qualities were characterized by descriptive sensory and rheological measurements.
RESULTS: Soups were perceived as homogenous; thickened soups were perceived as being easier to swallow, more melting and creamy compared with soups without thickener. Viscosity differed between the two types of soups. Texture descriptors for pâtés were characterized by high chewing resistance, firmness, and having larger particles compared with timbales and jellied products. Jellied products were perceived as wobbly, creamy, and easier to swallow. Concerning the rheological measurements, all solid products were more elastic than viscous (G'>G''), belonging to different G' intervals: jellied products (low G') and timbales together with pâtés (higher G').
CONCLUSION: By combining sensory and rheological measurements, a system of objective, quantitative, and well-defined food textures was developed that characterizes the different texture categories.
2010. Vol. 54