Published in Applied Research
Foods with complex texture could increase feelings of fullness
Previous research has suggested a link between the sensory properties of food, including flavour and texture, on satiety. A recent study published in the journal Appetite has found that increasing the textural complexity of food decreased food intake independent of oral processing time.
James et al. developed model foods with high textural complexity (HC) and low textural complexity (LC) but with equivalent energy, flavour and oral processing time.  Each model food consisted of a “gelatine agar gel mixture enclosing various layered and particulate inclusions added to create different levels of textural complexity though different sensory attributes.”  The model food was created as small mouthful pieces (8 g) which were designed to be given as a starter, before a 2 course ad libitum meal.
The team recruited 26 participants who fasted for 3 hours before the test meals. The test meals were given at the same time of day with a washout period of 3 days between each sessions.  James et al. note that they used a 2 course meal rather than just 1 course as they wanted to ensure participants had not “simply stopped eating due to feeling bored with the first course.”
The participants were randomly assigned 4 pieces of either the LC or the HC model foods.  All model foods were consumed within 10 minutes, and after a further 10 minutes the participants completed an appetite questionnaire.  The first course meal consisted of 250 g servings of pasta in tomato sauce (2406 kJ/serving).  The participants consumed as much food as they wanted, with around half the participants requesting an additional serving.  The participants had 20 minutes to consume the meal.  When the course was finished the participants waited 10 minutes before they completed another appetite questionnaire.  Amount of food consumed was recorded by the scientists.
The second course consisted of 100g servings of chocolate cake.  As with the previous course, participants could ask for further servings and were instructed to stop eating when they were full.  Again this course had to be consumed within 20 minutes and after consumption the participants waited 10 minutes before completing another appetite questionnaire. 
Using a food diary the participants recorded the amount and type of all food or drink consumed for 3 hours after intervention.  On the next test day the participants were given the alternate preload to that they had consumed previously. 
James et al. found that “the HC preload group consumed a significantly lower amount of food for the first course of the ad libitum meal (pasta and sauce) than the LC preload group.”  This equated to 156.6 g or approximately 1507 KJ less.  However there was “no significant difference between the HC and LC groups in the total weight of food consumed during the second course of the ad libitum meal (chocolate cake).  
After the preload food, the participants in the HC group reported a decrease in the “desire to eat and increase in “fullness.” This, the researchers suggests, indicates that the HC foods may have already been influencing satiation.  On combining both first course and second course amount, the HC group consumed “significantly lower than that consumed by the LC group” 
Further investigations by the team are to examine the effect on the brain.  However they state in conclusion “we propose that the increased sensory stimulation from more complex textures can contribute and accelerate the satiation response.”

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