SSG Discussion on Texture Screening
On 25th February the Sensory Science Group held a Lunchtime Discussion Forum on the topic of texture screening. We heard from our Ruth Greenaway who described the challenges to consider when screening assessors for the evaluation of household and personal care products. Ruth got us to assess the smoothness of hair switches that had been treated with different conditioners… I’m not sure I would make it as one of her trained hair panellists!
Cindy Beeren of Leatherhead Food International gave us some great ideas for novel texture screening tests for foods. These include the chewing (and expectoration) of almonds to determine how well an assessor breaks down food; using two-coloured gum to measure chewing and mixing; and the use of icing sugar letters and numbers (as used by cake decorators) to determine ability to detect and describe shapes in the mouth.
The last presentation was from Tony Milanowski of Plumpton College. Tony discussed the challenges of defining and assessing the mouthfeel sensations of wines and showed us how he had successfully used cross modality matching to address the problem. The audience then tried to match the texture of three red wines to a range of fabrics from silk to rough hessian. Tony also presented work on the relationship between salivary flow rate, the protein composition of saliva (particularly the proline rich protein) and perception of astringency.
You can see some of these presentations here.