Rheology and oral processing
Understanding how your food product behaves during eating should form an essential part of your product development process. Only with this information can you begin to understand the relationship between ingredient functionality and optimisation of taste, flavour and texture profiles to create the perfect product.
Rheology is the branch of science associated with the deformation and flow of matter, which can be liquids, soft solids or solids. It is relevant to understanding how food breaks down in the mouth, encompassing critical rheological properties such as viscosity, gelling and texture.
Oral processing science seeks to understand how food microstructure and rheological properties change during the eating process. It allows us to design foods for specific demographics or optimise flavour, taste and texture profiles when combined with sensory information.
We have a range of viscometers, rheometer and texture analyser, all of which contribute to generation of rheological data which can be interpreted to give an understanding of the mechanics of food fracturing and breaking down in mouth. The rheological data is complemented with microscopy, which looks at distribution and re-distribution of the key ingredients during the breakdown and formation of bolus.
Such an approach is a powerful tool to those who wants to understand the relationship between ingredient functionality, food breakdown mechanics and organoleptic profiles, which will eventually influence consumer buying power.