In a unique double discovery, researchers at the University of Leeds have shown that massive bursts of ultrasound are generated during the first second of biting into crunchy food – and are simultaneously analysed by the ears and mouth.
Food physicist Professor Malcolm Povey explains: “Food is, in effect, talking to us and we innately understand what it’s saying about texture by interpreting the sensations through our ears and mouths. Our research shows that the sound and feel of food in the mouth is as important as taste, look and smell in deciding whether we like something or not.”
Using a microphone, an acoustic microscope, some simple software and an enviable supply of different biscuits, Professor Povey realised that the energy produced by the very first crack of a biscuit breaking is released as distinct pulses of ultrasound – sound waves beyond the range of human hearing.
Hannah Love | alfa
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