PROJECT DETAILS: THe role of tribology in the astringency of wine.

Aims and Objectives:

The perceived texture of food is one of the key sensory perceptions determining food and drink choice. Astringency is a specific oral sensation dominated by a dryness and puckering feeling and is one of the main quality factors for red wines, teas as well as some fruit products. This sensation is perceived by the contact between the tongue and palate, as well as on nontaste surfaces, i.e., between the upper lip and the gum. It is generally accepted that astringency is not a taste but a textural feature which is sensed via a tactile mechanism. Whilst the rheological properties of liquids containing astringent compounds are well understood, this understanding only goes part of the way in explaining certain mouth feels and sensory perception. The study of oral tribology is expected to provide much more reliable information on mouthfeel sensory sensations, important during oral processing. Surface related properties, such as topography and wettability, are thought to be key in this aspect. The aim of this project is to develop the methodology for studying the lubricating properties of food products. This would enable investigation of the physical origin of key sensory attributes.


The objectives are:


  • Understand the effect of food rheological properties on texture and mouthfeel.

  • Develop testing methodology for assessing friction of tannin containing liquids.

  • Experimentally asses the friction, and interactions with surface topography, of astringent compound contacting liquids.


Supervisors: M. Bryant, A. Morina.


Collaborating groups (academic or industry): Dr Anwesha Sarkar, School of Food Science.

Project Updates: