London: What if you can visualise sensations your mouth experiences as you gulp down your favourite ice cream?
According to scientists, changes in coldness, creaminess or texture of the ice cream that we experience in the mouth while we are eating it can be visualised on a screen using coloured curves.
Using the technique known as Temporal Dominance of Sensations (TDS), researchers at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (CSIC) at University of Valencia in Spain have visualised the perceptions experienced while eating an ice cream.
"As well as how it looks before being served, the texture on our tongue and palate is key to it being accepted and considered as a quality product," said Susana Fiszman from CSIC.
To assess this aspect, scientists organised a tasting session with 85 people who described the sensations they felt while eating a vanilla ice cream.
The participants pointed out on a screen the most dominant characteristic present in each moment - from the cold they felt to the ice cream`s creaminess, lack of smoothness, gumminess and mouth coating - how much of the product remained in the mouth after swallowing.
The results were processed with a software and shown in graphs displaying coloured lines, one for each characteristic.
"In an ice cream made only with milk and sugar, the curves that dominate are those representing coldness and lack of smoothness. But adding cream, egg and hydrocolloids significantly increases and prolongs creaminess and mouth coating," Fiszman explained.
This technique can help manufacturers improve ice cream quality, the authors noted in a study published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids.