Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2013
Publication Date: 10/14/2013
Citation: Lu, R. 2013. Principle of solid food texture analysis. In: Kilcast, D., editor. Instrumental Assessment of Food Sensory Quality - A Practical Guide. New York: Elsevier. p. 103-128.
Technical Abstract: Food texture reflects the human’s sensory perception of a food item when it is acted upon by force or deformation during mastication to cause changes or breakdown in the structure of the food. It is one major factor in quality evaluation and grading of solid foods. While food texture evaluation can be performed by trained human panelists, this procedure is time consuming, prone to error, and not suitable for routine testing in the production and marketing of food. Objective instrumental measurement is thus desired or needed to ensure that the food product would meet consumer expectations. Destructive force/deformation methods are widely used for objective measurement of the textural properties of solid food because they often mimic or emulate the sensory evaluation by humans. Over the years, various types of force/deformation methods have been developed for measuring a large variety of foods. This chapter gives a brief introduction to the basic engineering principles and concepts for determining the mechanical properties of solid food. It then describes the principles and applications of different destructive force/deformation techniques for measuring the texture of solid food. Finally, the chapter discusses the challenges and future needs in research for objective measurement of food texture.