Sensory and physical characteristics of foods that impact food intake without affecting acceptability: Systematic review and meta-analyses

Katherine M. Appleton, Annie Newbury, Eva Almiron-Roig*, Martin R. Yeomans, Jeffrey M. Brunstrom, Kees de Graaf, Lucie Geurts, Heidi Kildegaard, Sophie Vinoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


This systematic review with meta-analyses aimed to identify the sensory and physical characteristics of foods/beverages which increase satiation and/or decrease/delay subsequent consumption without affecting acceptability. Systematic searches were first undertaken to identify review articles investigating the effects of any sensory and physical food characteristic on food intake. These articles provided some evidence that various textural parameters (aeration, hardness, homogeneity, viscosity, physical form, added water) can impact food intake. Individual studies investigating these effects while also investigating acceptability were then assessed. Thirty-seven individual studies investigated a textural manipulation and provided results on food intake and acceptability, 13 studies (27 comparisons, 898 participants) investigated effects on satiation, and 29 studies (54 comparisons, 916 participants) investigated effects on subsequent intake. Meta-analyses of within-subjects comparisons (random-effects models) demonstrated greater satiation (less weight consumed) from food products that were harder, chunkier, more viscous, voluminous, and/or solid, while demonstrating no effects on acceptability. Textural parameters had limited effects on subsequent consumption. Between-subjects studies and sensitivity analyses confirmed these results. These findings provide some evidence that textural parameters can increase satiation without affecting acceptability. The development of harder, chunkier, more viscous, voluminous, and/or solid food/beverage products may be of value in reducing overconsumption.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13234
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number8
Early online date23 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted by an expert group (EG) of the European branch of the International Life Sciences Institute, ILSI Europe. The research question addressed in this publication and potential contributing experts in the field were identified by the Energy Balance and Eating Behaviour Task Force. Members of this task force are listed on the ILSI Europe website ( According to ILSI Europe policies, the EG is composed of at least 50% of external non-industry members. The complete composition of the EG can be found on the ILSI Europe website ( Once the EG was formed, the research project was handed over to them to independently refine the research question. Consequently, the EG carried out the work, that is, collecting/analyzing data/information and writing the scientific paper, independently of other activities of the task force. The research reported is the result of a scientific evaluation in line with ILSI Europe's framework to provide a precompetitive setting for public?private partnership. ILSI Europe facilitated scientific meetings and coordinated the overall project management and administrative tasks relating to the completion of this work. For further information about ILSI Europe, please email or call +3227710014. The opinions expressed herein and the conclusions of this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of ILSI Europe nor those of its member companies nor any regulatory authority. Experts are not paid for the time spent on this work; however, the non-industry members within the expert group were offered support for travel and accommodation costs from the Energy Balance and Eating Behaviour Task Force to attend meetings to discuss the manuscript and a small compensatory sum (honorarium) with the option to decline. Thanks are also extended to Cyril Marsaux, ILSI Europe, BE, for contributions to the project conceptualization and initial setup.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of World Obesity Federation.

Structured keywords

  • Nutrition and Behaviour
  • Physical and Mental Health


  • food intake
  • palatability
  • satiation
  • satiety
  • texture


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