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Sensory and physical characteristics of foods that impact food intake without affecting acceptability: Systematic review and meta‐analyses


This systematic review with meta-analyses aimed to identify the sensory and physical characteristics of foods/beverages which increase satiation and/or decrease/delay subsequent consumption without affecting acceptability. Systematic searches were first undertaken to identify review articles investigating the effects of any sensory and physical food characteristic on food intake. These articles provided some evidence that various textural parameters (aeration, hardness, homogeneity, viscosity, physical form, added water) can impact food intake. Individual studies investigating these effects while also investigating acceptability, were then assessed. Thirty-seven individual studies investigated a textural manipulation and provided results on food intake and acceptability: 13 studies (27 comparisons, 898 participants) investigating effects on satiation, 29 studies (54 comparisons, 916 participants) investigating effects on subsequent intake. Meta-analyses of within-subjects comparisons (random-effects models) demonstrated greater satiation (less weight consumed) from food products that were harder, chunkier, more viscous, voluminous and/or solid, while demonstrating no effects on acceptability. Textural parameters had limited effects on subsequent consumption. Between-subjects studies and sensitivity analyses confirmed these results. These findings provide some evidence that textural parameters can increase satiation without affecting acceptability. The development of harder, chunkier, more viscous, voluminous, and/or solid food/beverage products may be of value in reducing overconsumption.

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For more information about the Sensory Science & Consumer Behaviour (previously Eating Behaviour and Energy Balance) Task Force, click here.