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Biomechanical characterization of the tongue-food interface during the course of oral processing

Abstract : Food oral processing and associated biomechanics play important role in the dynamics of texture perceptions. This thesis was aimed to understand this biomechanics by designing novel in-vitro oral processing setups. Model tongues were fabricated from polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which helped to mimic human tongue characteristics like rigidity and surface roughness. Furthermore, novel ultrasound techniques were developed for real-time analysis of the tongue-food-palate system. At first, the deformation of gelatin and agar gels over the model tongues were investigated during uniaxial compressions. Two ultrasound parameters (apparent reflection coefficient and time of flight) were identified as suitable for analyzing (i) tongue-food interface coupling and (ii) tongue deformations. The results showed that both tongue properties (rigidity, roughness) and food properties (rigidity and syneresis) were critical. The ultrasound method was then further developed to analyze bulk deformations of composite gels in context of perception of heterogeneity. For the first time, it was possible to observe in real time the deformation of each gel layer within the food and thus provide new knowledge to better understand the perceptions of texture heterogeneity.Moving forward, a new set-up that could perform more complex motion sequences (compression and shearing) was developed. It was equipped with three-axis force sensors to evaluate friction forces. The feasibility of the set-up was tested by measuring how friction coefficient values were affected by food properties (cottage cheese: mainly its viscosity and the presence of particules), tongue properties, and operational parameters (normal stress, shearing velocity). Increases in the surface roughness and bulk rigidity of the model tongue led to a pronounced augmentation of the friction coefficient values. Sensory analysis was also carried out to relate the mechanical phenomena observed with the two set-ups. The results confirm that beyond the physico-chemical characteristics of food, it is essential to take into account the tongue characteristics (and variability) in order to better understand the mechanical interactions which likely affect texture perceptions.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 12:45:08 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03543962, version 1

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Rohit Srivastava. Biomechanical characterization of the tongue-food interface during the course of oral processing. Food engineering. Université Paris-Saclay, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021UPASB027⟩. ⟨tel-03543962⟩

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