Cross-modality of texture and aroma perception is independent of orthonasal or retronasal stimulation.J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Jul 26; 54(15):5509-15.JA
To assess the influence of orthonasal and retronasal stimulation on cross-modal interactions between texture and flavor perception of food, a series of experiments have been conducted. Healthy human subjects were exposed to strawberry aroma pulses delivered by a computer-controlled stimulator based on air dilution olfactometry. Just prior to exposure to the aroma, the human subjects consumed water, custard, or protein gels with different textures without any added aroma. The aroma was delivered as a sequence of aroma pulses, in either an orthonasal or a retronasal fashion. The retronasal presentation of aroma with concomitant presentation of texture is thought to more closely mimick the in vivo flavor release of semisolid food products as compared to orthonasal stimulation. The time between oral consumption of the food, including swallowing, and the exposure to the aroma varied between 0.5 and 6.5 s. The subjects rated the intensity of the strawberry aroma. It was observed that the intensity of aroma decreased with increasing firmness of the food that was consumed. Aroma pulses delivered 6.5 s after swallowing were perceived as being more intense as compared to aroma pulses delivered immediately after swallowing. In conjunction with late delivery, the effect cross-modal interactions apparently decreased. Significantly higher odor intensities were reported for the aroma stimuli supplied orthonasally in comparison to retronasal administration. The observed cross-modal effect of texture on aroma intensity was not significantly altered by the mode of aroma delivery, i.e., orthonasal or retronasal stimulus administration.