Modulation of Chewing Rhythms to Changes in Viscoelasticity of Chewing Gums in People with Different Age and Dental Status
Anastassiadou V., Siovas S.
Viscoelasticity is a fundamental physical characteristic of food texture. Rheological changes in terms of consistency and viscosity could be evaluated to provide useful information about the modulation of chewing. Chewing gums have a special place as test foods and have been used as such for years. Six commercially available chewing gums were used to assess human "subjects" response to gum of different rheological characteristics. Parafin wax was used as a control material. Six elderly subjects presenting a wide range of dental status and six dentate younger adults, all living independently participated in the study. A simple bench test for measuring the consistency of chewed gum samples was used for the evaluation of viscoelastic changes during chewing. Data revealed patterns of relationships between the rheological characteristics of various gums and the modulation of chewing in people from different age groups. This study established a simple non-invasive test requiring no special equipment. It offers a valuable key for evaluating rheological changes in chewed pieces of gums from different sources. It was validated for describing main effects and interaction of different factors related to rheological changes and chewing behaviour in subjects with different age and dental status.
Key Words: Viscoelasticity, Rheology, Chewing gums, Mastication.