July 12, 2020

Sense of touch

A range of senses are used when eating food. These senses are:
• sight;
• smell;
• hearing;
• taste;
• touch

Sense of touch plays an important role in consumer perception, evaluation, and decision making of a product during the point-of-sale transaction, product usage, and product consumption. Because of this role, consumers are more likely to prefer products when retailers allow them to appraise the products using their hands.

Texture can be assessed through touch. When food is placed in the mouth, the surface of the tongue and other sensitive skin reacts to the feel of the surface of the food. The sensation is also known as mouthfeel. Different sensations are felt as the food is chewed. The resistance to chewing also affects texture, e.g. chewiness, springiness.

Tactile receptors on lips, tongue, teeth and fingers perceive the food consistency from the first touch, bite and also while chewing. The sense of touch also enables us to notice differences in texture and temperature.

Texture is the sensory manifestation of the structure or inner makeup of products in terms of their reaction to stress, which are measured as mechanical properties (such as hardness/firmness, adhesiveness, cohesiveness, gumminess springiness/resilience and viscosity) by the kinesthetic sense on the muscles of the hand, fingers, tongue, jaw or lips.

The fat content is one of the factors which can influence the consistency of foods, giving them greater palatability and making their consumption more pleasant (as well as increasing the calorie content).

Sensory stimuli which technically belong to other sensory spheres are often included within the sense of touch. These include heat, which is sensed by a sense of its own, thermal perception, and pain-causing stimuli, which belong to the pain-perceiving nociperception sense.
Sense of touch

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