One of the important things to consider when consuming food is the oral processing.

Oral meaning of, taken by, or done to the mouth

The oral processing of the food start from the first bite, mastication, and swallowing which eventually leads to sensory perception. Sensory perception of a food includes appearance, odor, flavor, taste, and texture attributes.

Type of food such as solid, liquid or gel are all contribute to different sensory perception according to different individual preferences.

Food Oral Processing and Sensory Perception

Through the process, consumed food will undergo several physical and chemical changes. For example, a solid chocolate at room temperature would melt in the mouth causing changes in physical state from solid to liquid.

The chemical changes here meaning the chemicals in the food will stimulate receptors in taste buds, and impulses are being conveyed from the taste buds to the brain stem/autonomic nervous system.

Sensory test can be done by trained panelist and by using instrument such as Texture Profile Analyzer and Rheometer. There are few types of sensory test can be done depending on the objectives.

The examples of sensory test are Rank Test, Preference Test and Descriptive Test. One of the most common sensory tests used is 9-point hedonic scale (preference Test) where panelist need to give their opinions based on a scale from Like Extremely to Dislike Extremely.

Besides, for instrument, Texture Profile Analyzer measures the compression force and the deformation changes in solid food while Rheometer measures the strain or stress relationship in liquid, semi- solid and soft solid food.

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