Open Access
Brady, Shannon L
Area of Honors:
Food Science
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Helene Hopfer, Thesis Supervisor
  • John Hayes, Honors Advisor
  • Dynamic Contrast
  • Mouth Behavior
  • Variety Seeking
The way one manipulates food in one’s mouth is thought to be a factor that predicts types of foods an individual will prefer and be most satisfied by. Additionally, food with dynamic contrast, or varied sensory experiences throughout the time spent in the mouth, is thought to increase satisfaction. This thesis is comprised of two individual studies in order to determine if mouth behavior or personality traits are a better indicator of liking and satisfaction of foods that have dynamic contrast. The objective of Study 1 is to relate satisfaction and liking of chocolate to dynamic contrast and mouth behavior to determine the impact of each on consumer satisfaction. Three milk chocolate samples were developed to represent aspects of dynamic contrast: plain chocolate (control), chocolate with powdered toffee (flavor contrast), and chocolate with toffee chunks (flavor + textural contrast). 94 individuals participated in a sensory test during which each individual sampled all three chocolates. Participants rated hunger, stomach fullness and energy levels before and after sampling, and then rated overall liking, pleasantness, taste, and texture acceptability, and overall satisfaction for each sample. Finally, participants ranked the chocolates from best to worst. At last, using the JBMBTM Mouth Behavior Typing Tool, each participant’s mouth behavior type was determined in order to classify individuals as either a “cruncher,” “chewer,” “sucker,” or “smoosher.” Based on these classifications, it was hypothesized that those who were typed as “cruncher” or “chewer” would prefer the chunky sample, while those who were typed as “sucker” or “smoosher” would prefer the ground toffee sample. Finally, it was hypothesized that all participants would prefer a chocolate sample containing toffee compared to the control sample that did not contain toffee. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were seen in the preference ranking of the chunky and powdered chocolates for the chewers and crunchers, with the chunky cholate being ranked significantly higher in preference than the powdered. Due to the low number of suckers and smooshers (15 out of 96) no significant differences in chocolate ranking were found for these groups. Pleasantness and taste acceptability showed a significant sample-by-mouth behavior interaction (p < 0.05), with chewers rating the chunky sample highest, and suckers rating the ground sample highest in pleasantness and taste acceptability. Satisfaction ratings differed significantly for both crunchers and chewers between the powdered and the chunky chocolate samples, with the latter providing more satisfaction (p < 0.05). The results of this study suggest that mouth behavior may be able to predict preference of food products for “chewers” and “crunchers,” but for the “suckers” and “smooshers” a larger sample size would be needed. In order to determine whether dynamic contrast was a more closely related to properties of food or personality traits, a subsequent study was completed. The objective of Study 2 was to better understand how personality may influence liking of food products that contain textural differences. In order to assess this relationship, peanut butter, applesauce and sparkling water samples, varying in their textural properties, were consumed by participants; each product was presented in a form that possessed high and low dynamic contrast. In this study, 106 participants were asked to rate stomach fullness, hunger and energy levels before and after the test, as well as rate overall liking, pleasantness, taste, and texture acceptability, and satisfaction for each sample. After sampling each set of two samples (one with high dynamic contrast and one with low dynamic contrast), individuals identified the sample that he or she preferred within the set. Additionally, participants completed the variety seeking questionnaire (VARSEEK) in order to assess one’s desire to try new or unfamiliar foods (Van Trijp & Steenkamp, 1991). This questionnaire has been shown in the past to be able to classify individuals’ desire for variety in regards to food selection (Van Trijp & Steenkamp, 1991). The 106 recruited participants were divided into high variety seeking (59 out of 106) and low variety seeking (49 out of 106) based on their VARSEEK questionnaire scores, and the groups were divided at the median score of 30 (≤30 for low and > 30 for high variety seeking groups). Liking and attribute scores of the two groups were then compared using a one-way ANOVA; no significant differences (p > 0.05) found for liking or attribute scores between high and low variety seekers. These results suggest that there is not a significant relationship between one’s desire for variety and liking of foods with dynamic contrast more than foods without dynamic contrast.