Physical properties of a model set of solid, texture-modified foods
Journal article, 2021
Those suffering from swallowing disorders, or dysphagia, require texture-modified foods for safe swallowing. The texture is modified according to the severity of the disorder, as maintained by the guidelines outlining classes of texture-modified foods, ranging from viscous soups to soft, solid foods. As a basis for studies of bolus rheology and oral response of solid texture-modified foods, a set of well-defined, solid foods has been identified and characterized regarding texture and physical properties. Gelled food is compared to both the firmer timbale class and to the corresponding regular food. Foods eaten at room temperature were chosen to avoid temperature effects: bread, cheese, tomato, and the combination into a sandwich. All foods were tested as gel, timbale, and regular food. The texture was determined by compression and penetration tests, thereby showing a decrease in strength (compression stress), stiffness (modulus), and penetration force for increased degree of modification. The moisture content increased with increased degree of modification. The structural change from room to oral temperature was monitored by the complex shear modulus that showed a decrease with increasing temperature. Cheese and the gelatine-based tomato gel showed a distinct melting when the temperature was increased to 37 degrees C. The texture-modified foods were softer and moister in all aspects as compared to the regular foods, which follows the intended modification. The classes for the texture-modified foods were qualitatively comparable to other national classification systems with regard to solid foods, but there is a lack of objective, physics-based classification of texture, especially for solid, texture-modified foods.