Why aren’t pureed foods satisfying?

26 May 2015

Uncovering the secrets behind why foods with complex textures are more filling than pureed foods is one of two projects awarded seed funding from the Food and Health Programme at the University of Auckland. 

Dr Nicholas Gant, from the Faculty of Science, and Associate Professor Bryony James, from the Faculty of Engineering, will be exploring ‘textural complexity’ as a distinct food property.

“Foods with complex textures are more filling than foods pureed to goo but the reasons for this are unknown,” Associate Professor James says.

“It may be that more complex foods require more manipulation with teeth and tongue or it may be that textured foods result in a different satiating signalling within the brain”.

Part of the study will involve using advanced neuroimaging techniques including functional MRI to scan the brains of participants during eating.

“Neuroimaging techniques enable us to scan areas of the brain that are responsible for controlling appetite and compare how these respond to foods with differing textures,” Dr Gant says.

Research into spinal deformity in farmed Chinook (King) salmon also receives seed funding. The cross-disciplinary project, with Dr Neill Herbert and Professor Elwyn Firth, brings together knowledge from marine science and body composition to gain greater insight into spinal deformity, also using a number of imaging methods.


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