Find out more about the food you eat.
To help plant breeders improve the potatoes and tomatoes we eat we need to understand the background to the qualities (e.g. flavour) we are interested in. Below are some of the qualities investigated by EU-SOL and how genes can affect them.
What is texture?
Texture is the feeling of the food in your mouth. In practice texture is not just one thing but lots of different sensations felt all at once.
Food scientists have tried to categorise different aspects of texture to understand what gives any item of food its particular feeling in our mouth. Here are some below:
- Juiciness – how much liquid is released when the food is crushed between molars?
- Firmness – how easy it is to squeeze?
- Mealiness – how ‘powdery’ is the food e.g. cooked potato can be very mealy.
- Toughness – how resistant the food is to puncture? This is similar to how easy is it to bite into.
- Chewiness – how many chews does it take to reduce the food to a condition where it can be swallowed?
- Elasticity – how much can the food be squeezed and still return to its original shape?
- Meltiness – how quickly does the food dissolve in your mouth?
Texture is very important to our enjoyment of food so is a key factor in breeding high quality tomatoes for the discerning consumer.