Background

Overeating is still an emerging problem in Denmark and alternatives to contribute to more healthy, sustainable and environmentally responsible eating habits are needed.

 

Read more about the background of the project!

 

The modern Western diet contains many foods which are highly palatable (easily edible and liked), has a relatively high energy density (fat and sugar) and is low in fibre content. These foods are believed to be major contributors to the growing obesity problem. The paradigm of replacing nutrients to low caloric alternatives may be extended to another paradigm that maintains nutrient quality but utilises the sensory aspects that give people satisfaction with the food and at the same time may contribute to more sustainable eating practices.

 

There are two processes important in relation to food consumption, namely the satiation as the end point of eating and satiety (physiological or sensory-specific) as the inhibition of the feelings of hunger and wanting to eat in-between eating occasions. The role of the type of food, volume, weight, macronutrient composition and fibre in relation to producing satiety have been studied, but the kind of pre- and post-ingestion perceptions and feelings relating to the eating processes and in between intervals are less well known. The memories and other meanings of these perceptions for the satisfaction with the food or meals seem to be important for human eating behaviour.

 

The hypotheses are:

• A full description of the sensations, perceptions, emotions and feelings, and memories around the eating process will lead to a better understanding of how the sensory and cognitive factors are associated with food intake and satisfaction.

• An understanding of the physiological mechanisms that give people feelings of satisfaction with a foods need clarification.

• The satiation capacity of products can be increased by flavour modification and macronutrient composition including modifications of product texture. 

• Satisfaction with meals is a multidimensional concept influenced by sensory expectations and experiences, but we need better understanding of the role of sensory factors in relation to other factors, such as situational, nutritional and personal factors. 

 

The SENSWELL project would like to investigate how sensory experiences can be utilised to influence eating behaviour and satisfaction. The project explores which sensory food attribute dimensions under which consumption situations can be used for creating sensory satisfaction while contributing to reducing food intake and more sustainable consumption practices.

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