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Texture not flavour determines satiety, says study

By Nathan Gray , 31-Aug-2011

Texture, not flavour, is responsible for the expected satiation of dairy.
Texture, not flavour, is responsible for the expected satiation of dairy.

The perceived texture, but not flavour or method of consumption, has a modest but ‘highly consistent’ effect on satiety expectations of dairy products, according to new research.

The study, published in the journal Appetite, investigated the role of sensory attributes, and means of consumption, in the expected satiation of dairy products, finding that an increase in thickness result in a consistent increase in expected satiation, whilst flavour did not affect expectations on satiation at all.

“Expected satiation of a food is assumed to be one of the determinants of portion size and do not seem susceptible to change,” said the researchers, led by Dr Cees de Graaf from the Top Institute Food and Nutrition and Wageningen University, both in The Netherlands.

“From the current experiments, we conclude that an increase in thickness results in an increased expected satiation, while flavour characteristics and means of consumption as tested did not affect expected satiation of dairy products,” they added.


The researchers explained that sensory attributes of foods play an important role in eating behaviour, by promoting intake of particular foods.

“It has been proposed that decisions on food choice and portion size are generally made before actual consumption … These decisions are among others influenced by food liking and hedonic expectations,” they said.

As such, flavour, odour, and food texture are important determinants of this hedonic response.

“The objective of the current experiments was to investigate the role of texture and flavour attributes and means of consumption on expectations about the satiation effects of dairy products,” explained de Graaf and her colleagues.

Study details

In three independent experiments the researchers measured the expected satiation of commercially available yogurts and custards, the satiating effects of flavoured custards with different textures, and chocolate milk and chocolate custard consumed with either a straw or a spoon.

The researchers said their results consistently showed an increase in expected satiation with increased thickness of the dairy products presented, while flavour characteristics and means of consumption as tested did not affect the expected satiation of the foods.

“We observed an effect of texture, but not of flavour on expected satiation in Experiment 2; and an effect of texture, but not of means of consumption on expected satiation in Experiment 3,” said de Graaf and her team.

“Further investigation of the effect of satiety expectations on actual intake may be important to better understand our regulation of food intake,” they added.

Source: Appetite
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.08.008
“Texture, not flavor, determines expected satiation of dairy products”
Authors: P.S. Hogenkamp, A. Stafleu, M. Mars, J.M. Brunstrom, C. de Graaf

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