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Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4250; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124250

Evaluation of Food Fineness by the Bionic Tongue Distributed Mechanical Testing Device

1
College of Automation Engineering, Northeast Electric Power University, Jilin 132012, China
2
Department of Computer Science and Bioimaging Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
3
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

In this study, to obtain a texture perception that is closer to the human sense, we designed eight bionic tongue indenters based on the law of the physiology of mandibular movements and tongue movements features, set up a bionic tongue distributed mechanical testing device, performed in vitro simulations to obtain the distributed mechanical information over the tongue surface, and preliminarily constructed a food fineness perception evaluation model. By capturing a large number of tongue movements during chewing, we analyzed and simulated four representative tongue movement states including the tiled state, sunken state, raised state, and overturned state of the tongue. By analyzing curvature parameters and the Gauss curvature of the tongue surface, we selected the regional circle of interest. With that, eight bionic tongue indenters with different curvatures over the tongue surface were designed. Together with an arrayed film pressure sensor, we set up a bionic tongue distributed mechanical testing device, which was used to do contact pressure experiments on three kinds of cookies—WZ Cookie, ZL Cookie and JSL Cookie—with different fineness texture characteristics. Based on the distributed mechanical information perceived by the surface of the bionic tongue indenter, we established a food fineness perception evaluation model by defining three indicators, including gradient, stress change rate and areal density. The correlation between the sensory assessment and model result was analyzed. The results showed that the average values of correlation coefficients among the three kinds of food with the eight bionic tongue indenters reached 0.887, 0.865, and 0.870, respectively, that is, a significant correlation was achieved. The results illustrate that the food fineness perception evaluation model is effective, and the bionic tongue distributed mechanical testing device has a good practical significance for obtaining food texture mouthfeel information. View Full-Text
Keywords: texture perception; curvature difference; bionic tongue indenter; arrayed film pressure sensor; fineness perception evaluation model; sensory assessment texture perception; curvature difference; bionic tongue indenter; arrayed film pressure sensor; fineness perception evaluation model; sensory assessment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, J.; Cui, Y.; Chen, Y.; Wang, W.; Tang, Y.; Men, H. Evaluation of Food Fineness by the Bionic Tongue Distributed Mechanical Testing Device. Sensors 2018, 18, 4250.

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