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The human tongue plays a crucial role throughout oral food processing. Among a series of oral strategies, size reduction should be focused more extensively for the texture design of food products because there is an increasing number of elderly people and patients with masticatory disturbance in recent times. In a previous study the authors developed an in vitro evaluation system of food texture, using a combination of artificial tongue and a conventional uni-axial compression apparatus to mimic tongue-palate compression. Agar gels of comparable fracture strain but different fracture forces were used as a model food. Agar gels which fractured upon compression on the artificial tongue were consumed by tongue-palate compression, whereas the gels which did not fracture on the artificial tongue were consumed by teeth mastication. In the present study, gels from gellan gum were prepared over a wide mechanical range and evaluated on the same evaluation system to validate the authors' previous conclusion.

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