Texture and Caloric Perception

Originally Published: April 20, 2014
Last Updated: February 24, 2021
stack of square baked brownie pieces sprinkled with cocoa powder

(April 15, 2014 Global Food Forums, Inc.) —In an article published in the March 19, 2014 issue of Journal of Consumer Research, the researchers explored the relationship between texture and caloric perception. Participants in the study were served bite-sized brownies while watching television ads. Half were not asked anything about the brownies while the other half were asked about the brownies’ calories. Within each of these two groups, half were given soft brownies, the others hard. When calories were not mentioned, the participants ate more of the soft than hard brownies. When calories were mentioned, more of the hard brownies were consumed. The study supports the concept that foods with hard or rough textures led people to believe they are consuming fewer calories than with smooth foods.

A press release quotes the authors of the study as saying “Brands interested in promoting the health benefits of their products can emphasize calorie foods. Understanding how the texture of food can influence calorie perceptions, food choice, and consumption.

–D. Biswas, et al. 2014, Something to Chew On: The Effects of Oral Haptics on Mastication, Orosensory Perception, and Calorie Estimation, published online March 19, 2014, Journal of Consumer Research

To view information on Global Food Forums’ Sweetener Systems website, including in-person conferences, webinars, technical articles and presentations for food formulators, product profiles and news items, visit https://sweeteners.globalfoodforums.com/