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Rangées de graines.. © INRA, Elena Schweitzer © Fotolia

Our results

  1. Introduction
  2. Research and Innovation 2018 - For Food and Biobased Products
  3. Dry-cured ham: a process simulator can now define routes of manufacture that yield lower-salt products
  4. Does organically-farmed meat contain fewer chemical contaminants?
  5. The way in which proteins aggregate when heated may change their sensitising potency
  6. Enhancing the viability of spray-dried probiotic bacteria by stimulating their stress tolerance
  7. Human milk digestion in the preterm infant: impact of technological treatments
  8. Research & Innovation 2017 - For Food and Biobased Products
  9. To stick or not to stick? Pulling pili sheds new light on biofilm formation
  10. When biopolymers selfassemble: a balance between energy and entropy.
  11. Mimicking the gastrointestinal digestion in a lab-on-a-chip:the microdigester
  12. How a milk droplet becomes a powder grain
  13. Research & Innovation 2016 - For Food and Bioproducts
  14. A new process for the biorefining of plants
  15. Under the UV light : the bacterial membrane
  16. Reverse engineering or how to rebuild ... bread!
  17. Green Chemistry: a step towards lipid production in yeast
  18. Individually designed neo-enzymes for antibacterial vaccines
  19. Multi-scale mechanical modelling: from the nanometric scale to the macroscopic properties of bread crumb
  20. Minimill: 500 g to assess the milling value of soft wheats
  21. Microbial production of lipids for energy or chemical purposes
  22. The discrete role of ferulic acid in the assembly of lignified cell wall
  23. Eco-design of composites made from wood co-products
  24. Analysis of volatile compounds enables the authentication of a poultry production system
  25. Nanoparticles as capping agents for biopolymers microscopy
  26. Pasteurisation, UHT, microfiltration...All the processes don't affect the nutritional quality of milk in the same way
  27. Integration of expert knowledge applied to cheese ripening
  28. Controlling cheese mass loss during ripening
  29. The shape memory of starch
  30. Research & Innovation 2015 - For Food & Biobased Products
  31. Behaviour of casein micelles during milk filtering operations
  32. Overaccumulation of lipids by the yeast S. cerevisiae for the production of biokerosine
  33. Sequential ventilation in cheese ripening rooms: 50% electrical energy savings
  34. An innovative process to extract bioactive compounds from wheat
  35. Diffusion weighted MRI: a generic tool for the microimaging of lipids in food matrices
  36. Characterization of a major gene of anthocyanin biosynthesis in grape berry
  37. New enzyme activity detectors made from semi-reflective biopolymer nanolayers
  38. Improving our knowledge about the structure of the casein micelle
  39. Heating milk seems to favour the development of allergy in infants
  40. Fun with Shape
  41. Using volatile metabolites in meat products to detect livestock contamination by environmental micropollutants
  42. SensinMouth, when taste makes sense
  43. A decision support system for the fresh fruit and vegetable chain based on a knowledge engineering approach
  44. SOLEIL casts light on the 3D structure of proteins responsible for the stabilisation of storage lipids in oilseed plants
  45. A close-up view of the multi-scale protein assembly process
  46. Controlling the drying of infant dairy products by taking water-constituent interactions into account
  47. Polysccharide nanocrystals to stabilise pickering emulsions
  48. Discovery of new degradative enzymes of plant polysaccharides in the human intestinal microbiome
  49. A durum wheat flour adapted for the production of traditional baguettes
  50. Virtual modelling to guide the construction of « tailored-made » enzymes
  51. How far can we reduce the salt content of cooked meat products?
  52. Diffusion of organic substances in polymer materials: beyond existing scaling laws
  53. Smart Foams : various ways to destroy foams on demand !
  54. Dates, rich in tannins and yet neither bitter nor astringent
  55. Sodium content reduction in food
  56. Research & Innovation 2014

SensinMouth, when taste makes sense

The "SensInMouth" project aims at understanding and modelling the release of compounds responsible for sensory stimuli during chewing in humans. In addition to the effects directly linked to the food itself (texture, fat content), two key physiological parameters were revealed in vivo for the first time: impregnation of the product by saliva and the transfer of aromas from the mouth to the nasal cavity. These findings open interesting perspectives for manufacturers in terms of the formulation of products that satisfy nutritional criteria and that are more easily accepted by the consumer. In order to satisfy nutritional recommendations, manufacturers in the agri-food sector would like to have access to the data and tools necessary to help them formulate new food products that are nutritionally balanced and whose taste appeals to the consumer. The aim of the SensInMouth project is to obtain models capable of predicting the release of sensory stimuli related to perception in a food. Understanding the relationship between in-mouth physiological mechanisms and perception in a food will make it possible to develop food products adapted to specific populations.

Measuring the perception of flavor. © INRA, csga Dijon

How do aromas influence our sensory perception of taste ?  Are they released during chewing ?

A panel of 50 people, representative of the adult population, was constituted for the experiment.  These volunteers sampled six different model cheeses that varied in fat content and texture, but that had the same concentration of two aromas, ethyl propanoate ("fruit" note) and 2-nonanone ("blue" note). Some 15 parameters were measured for each sample during chewing, including saliva flow, chewing efficiency (mechanical capacity to break down foods by chewing), opening frequency of the velopharynx (area of exchange between the mouth and the nose) and the continuous monitoring of aroma release in the nasal cavity.  Researchers pooled all of these variables to propose a model to predict the conditions under which molecules responsible for sensory stimuli (flavours, aromas) are released.

Saliva and the velopharynx, two key parameters

Two variables essential to aroma release were revealed: the saliva hydration rate of the product and the opening frequency of the velopharynx that makes it possible to transfer aroma molecules from the oral to the nasal cavity.  The impregnation of the food product by saliva (alimentary bolus) directly influences aroma release.  It plays an important role during chewing as well as after swallowing.  Residues from the alimentary bolus coat the oral cavity, and the higher the saliva hydration rate is, the greater the aroma release will be.  Researchers also demonstrated the impact of velopharynx movements on aroma release. Aroma release is greater in subjects whose velopharynx remains open throughout the chewing process due to the permanent exchange between the oral and nasal cavities.  

Impact of the composition and texture of foods

It was observed during this study that the fat content of cheese has little influence on the release of a hydrophilic aroma molecule such as ethyl propanoate in the nasal cavity, whereas a hydrophobic aroma molecule such as 2-nonanone is retained for a longer time in cheeses with high fat content and, as a result, released to a lesser extent in the nasal cavity during chewing because it is poorly dissolved in the saliva.   In contrast, it is released to a greater extent after swallowing: the cheeses with the highest fat contents left a thicker coating in the oral cavity, leading to the conservation of hydrophobic aromas in the mouth for a longer time.  The time necessary to reach the maximum perception and release intensities was longer for high-fat cheeses than for low-fat cheeses.  At the same time, low-fat products released more aromas and more rapidly, independently of the physiological characteristics of the panellists.
Analyses of texture indicated that a firmer cheese required lengthier chewing, increasing its impregnation by saliva and, as a result, the surface area for exchanges between the food and the air.  This facilitates the release of aroma compounds in the oral cavity and their subsequent transfer to the nasal cavity.

Towards a reformulation of products

This study also revealed considerable differences between subjects.  The chewing physiology and behaviour of individual subjects may lead to differences in perception that could partially explain food preferences.  Researchers nevertheless showed that the composition and, above all, the texture of a product had a greater impact on aroma release overall than individual physiological variability.
These findings will be of value to manufacturers for the formulation or reformulation of products designed to comply with specific nutritional criteria.  They may thus be able to reduce the use of aromas by modulating the texture of a product or to compensate for a reduction in fat content by rationally reformulating the aromas used.  New formulations may also meet acceptability criteria in the case of individuals with specific pathologies such as difficulties in producing saliva or respiratory problems.


This work is the result of the research project SensinMouth, funded by ANR and labeled by Vitagora, coordinated by E. Guichard (UMR-CSGA, 1324 INRA, 6265 CNRS, Université de Bourgogne) in collaboration with UMR GMPA (INRA AgroParisTech), the Faculty of Dentistry of Clermont-Ferrand,
the rheology laboratory (CNRS, Université de Grenoble 1), Fromageries Bel, and the Soredab company (groupe Bongrain).
Through this project, Marion Doyennette, doctor at the unit for Food process engineering and microbiology (INRA-AgroParistech Versailles-Grignon), received the award for best thesis in "Flavor Research" awarded by the Swiss company Giract


See also

  • Repoux, M., Septier, C., Palicki, O., Feron, G., & Labouré, H. (2011). Solid Cheese consumption: quantification of oral coating. Archives of Oral biology, doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2011.07.011.
  • Repoux, M., Sémon, E., Feron, G., Guichard, E., & Labouré, H. (2011). Inter-individual variability in aroma release during sweet mint consumption. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, DOI 10.1002/ffj.2077..
  • Doyennette, M., de Loubens, C., Déléris, I., Souchon, I., & Tréléa, I. C. (2011). Mechanisms explaining the role of viscosity and post-deglutitive pharyngeal residue on in vivo aroma release: A combined experimental and modeling study Food Chemistry, 128, 380-390.
  • SensInmouth project