Summary: Because food texture is regarded as an important factor for smooth deglutition, identification of objective parameters that could provide a basis for food texture selection for elderly or dysphagic patients is of great importance. We aimed to develop an objective evaluation method of mastication using a mixed test food comprising foodstuffs, simulating daily dietary life. The particle size distribution (>2 mm in diameter) in a bolus was analysed using a digital image under dark-field illumination. Ten female participants (mean age ± s.d., 27·6 ± 2·6 years) masticated a mixed test food comprising prescribed amounts of rice, sausage, hard omelette, raw cabbage and raw cucumber with 100%, 75%, 50% and 25% of the number of their masticatory strokes. A single set of coefficient thresholds of 0·10 for the homogeneity index and 1·62 for the particle size index showed excellent discrimination of deficient masticatory conditions with high sensitivity (0·90) and specificity (0·77). Based on the results of this study, normal mastication was discriminated from deficient masticatory conditions using a large particle analysis of mixed foodstuffs, thus showing the possibility of future application of this method for objective decision-making regarding the properties of meals served to dysphagic patients.
- Geriatric dentistry
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