Oral tribology is rapidly entering into the food scientists’ toolbox because of its promises to predict surface-related mouthfeel perception. In this systematic review, we discuss how oral tribology relates to specific sensory attributes in model and real foods focussing on recent literature from 2016 onwards. Electronic searches were conducted in four databases, yielding 4857 articles which were narrowed down to a set of 16 articles using pre-specified criteria. New empirical correlations have emerged between friction coefficients in the mixed lubrication regime and fat-related perception (e.g. smoothness) as well as non-fat-related perception (e.g. pastiness, astringency, stickiness). To develop mechanistically supported generalized relationships, we recommend coupling tribological surfaces and testing conditions that are harmonized across laboratories with temporal sensory testing and multivariate statistical analysis.
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