Objective parameters that could provide a basis for food texture selection for elderly or dysphagic patients have not been established. We, therefore, aimed to develop a precise method of measuring large particles (>2mm in diameter) in a bolus and an analytical method to provide a scientific rationale for food selection under masticatory dysfunction conditions. We developed a new illumination system to evaluate the ability of twenty female participants (mean age, 23·4±4·3years) to masticate carrots, peanuts and beef with full, half and one quarter of the number of masticatory strokes. We also evaluated mastication under suppressed force, regulated by 20% electromyographic of the masseter muscle. The intercept and inclination of the regression line for the distribution of large particles were adopted as coefficients for the discrimination of masticatory efficiency. Single set of coefficient thresholds of 0·10 for the intercept and 1·62 for the inclination showed excellent discrimination of masticatory conditions for all three test foods with high specificity and sensitivity. These results suggested that our method of analysing the distribution of particles >2mm in diameter might provide the basis for the appropriate selection of food texture for masticatory dysfunction patients from the standpoint of comminution.
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