Temporal Texture Profile and Identification of Glass Transition Temperature as an Instrumental Predictor of Stickiness in a Caramel System

Emily J. Mayhew, Shelly J. Schmidt, Pascal Schlich, Soo Yeun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stickiness is an important texture attribute in many food systems, but its meaning can vary by person, product, and throughout mastication. This variability and complexity makes it difficult to devise analytical tests that accurately and consistently predict sensory stickiness. Glass transition temperature (Tg) is a promising candidate for texture prediction. Our objective is to elucidate the temporal profile of stickiness in order to probe the relationship between Tg and dynamic stickiness perception. Nine caramel samples with diverse texture and thermal profiles were produced for sensory testing and differential scanning calorimetry. Sixteen trained panelists generated stickiness-relevant terms to be used in a subsequent temporal dominance of sensation (TDS) test with the same panelists. Following the TDS study, these panelists also rated samples for overall tactile and oral stickiness. Stickiness ratings were then correlated to TDS dominance parameters across the full evaluation period and within the first, middle, and final thirds of the evaluation period. Samples with temporal texture profiles dominated by tacky, stringy, and enveloping attributes consistently received the highest stickiness scores, although the correlation strength varied by time period. Tg was found to correlate well with trained panelist and consumer ratings of oral (R2 trained = 0.85; R2 consumer = 0.96) and tactile (R2 trained = 0.78; R2 consumer = 0.79) stickiness intensity, and stickiness intensity ratings decreased with Tg of completely amorphous samples. Further, glassy samples followed a different texture trajectory (brittle-cohesive-toothpacking) than rubbery samples (deformable-tacky-enveloping). These results illuminate the dynamic perception of stickiness and support the potential of Tg to predict both stickiness intensity and texture trajectory in caramel systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2167-2176
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • caramel
  • glass transition
  • stickiness
  • temporal dominance of sensation
  • texture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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