Food and beverage product developers spend a shockingly low amount of time examining how texture may impact a finished product, according to TIC Gums' vice president of research and development Matthew Patrick.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the Research Chefs Association conference and expo in Atlanta, Patrick explained that texture can have wide-ranging influence on consumer perception of a food or beverage product.
For example, texture can influence the way saltiness or sugariness is perceived, meaning that different textures can make a product seem more or less sweet or salty even if the level of sugar or salt remains the same. That effect is something that product developers need to be particularly aware of, as many are cutting sugar or salt in products in response to demand for healthier foods and drinks.
Patrick added that low-viscosity beverages, such as teas, represent one area in which there is particular potential for enhancing consumer experience of a product through subtle textural differences.