Mouthfeel is a product's physical and chemical interaction in the mouth, an aspect of food rheology. It is used in many areas related to the testing and evaluating of foodstuffs, such as wine-tasting and rheology. It is evaluated from initial perception on the palate, to first bite, through mastication to swallowing and aftertaste. In wine-tasting, for example, mouthfeel is usually used with a modifier (big, sweet, tannic, chewy, etc.) to the general sensation of the wine in the mouth. Some people, however, use the traditional term texture. Mouthfeel is often related to a product's water activity, hard or crisp products having lower water activities and soft products having intermediate to high water activities.
- Cohesiveness: Degree to which the sample deforms before rupturing when biting with molars.
- Density: Compactness of cross section of the sample after biting completely through with the molars.
- Dryness: Degree to which the sample feels dry in the mouth.
- Fracturability: Force with which the sample crumbles, cracks or shatters. Fracturability encompasses crumbliness, crispiness, crunchiness and brittleness.
- Graininess: Degree to which a sample contains small grainy particles.
- Gumminess: Energy required to disintegrate a semi-solid food to a state ready for swallowing.
- Hardness: Force required to deform the product to given distance, i.e., force to compress between molars, bite through with incisors, compress between tongue and palate.
- Heaviness: Weight of product perceived when first placed on tongue.
- Moisture absorption: Amount of saliva absorbed by product.
- Moisture release: Amount of wetness/juiciness released from sample.
- Mouthcoating: Type and degree of coating in the mouth after mastication (for example, fat/oil).
- Roughness: Degree of abrasiveness of product's surface perceived by the tongue.
- Slipperiness: Degree to which the product slides over the tongue.
- Smoothness: Absence of any particles, lumps, bumps, etc., in the product.
- Uniformity: Degree to which the sample is even throughout; homogeneity.
- Uniformity of Bite: Evenness of force through bite.
- Uniformity of Chew: Degree to which the chewing characteristics of the product are even throughout mastication.
- Viscosity: Force required to draw a liquid from a spoon over the tongue.
- Wetness: Amount of moisture perceived on product's surface.
- Dollase, Jürgen, Geschmacksschule [engl.: Tasting School], 2005 Tre Tori, Wiesbaden, Germany (ISBN 3937963200). German-language textbook by a renowned food critic covering some, but not all of the above mentionend properties/mouthfeelings.
- Katz, E.E. and Labuza, T.P. (1981) Effect of water activity on the sensory crispness and mechanical deformation of snack food products. J. Food Sci. 46: 403–409