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Ingestive Behaviour Seminar (Speaker: Dr Ciarán Forde, Nestle Research Centre)

BIosciences SG18
Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Wednesday 15th October 2014 (11:00-12:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Topic: Food Texture, Eating Behaviour and Energy Intake

Speaker: Dr Ciarán Forde, Nestle Research Centre (Switzerland)

Part of the Ingestive Behaviour Seminar Series

Dr Forde graduated with a BSc in Food Chemistry (1999) and his PhD in Sensory Science (2004) from the Department of Nutrition at University College Cork in Ireland. He then joined Glaxo-Smith-Kline as a Sensory Scientist in their Nutritional Healthcare division and later the Commonwealth Scientific industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Sydney, Australia.

In 2010, he joined the Nestle Research Centre in Switzerland as a Senior Research Scientist to focus on understanding sensory and cognitive influences on food intake behaviour. He has recently accepted a position as Principal Investigator of Human Nutritional Sensory Sciences at A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences, and as an Associate Professor within the National University of Singapore Yong Lin Loo Medical School. 

If you would like to meet with Dr Forde before or after his talk, contact Jason Thomas

Working with industry Q&A session

Dr Forde will also be holding a Working with industry Q&A Session. 

The session will be held the same day at 2pm in Frankland 305, and is open to the entire group. However it would be appreciated if individuals could confirm attendance in advance.

There will also be time for some one-to-one sessions between 3 - 4pm if anyone is interested in discussing this topic or potential collaborations with Dr Forde.


Much of the current food supply consists of softly textured, processed foods that support minimal oral processing and faster intake of energy. Foods that can be eaten quickly with larger bite sizes and fewer chews are believed to produce a poorer satiating response due to faster eating rates and reduced oro-sensory exposure.  

A growing number of observational studies suggest a relationship between eating rate (g/min or kcal/min) and BMI and there is evidence to suggest that eating rate is a heritable behavioural phenotype that contributes to weight gain.

A recent meta-analysis of studies has explored the relationship between eating rate and energy intake and concluded that there is good evidence in the literature to support the belief that faster eating rates lead to significantly increased energy intake. Indeed, clinical interventions have shown that slowing eating rate by providing computerized feedback during a meal produced a significant reduction in BMI among obese children.  

The goal would be to replicate the same effects using foods to reduce eating rates. The specific influence of food texture on eating rate, bite size and chewing behaviour and the subsequent impact on energy intake over the course of a meal has recently demonstrated promising results.  

Despite underlying differences in individual eating styles, people tend to respond in a similar way to the physical properties of the foods consumed and will eat in response to their food environment. The talk will summarise how consumers adapt eating behaviours like bite size and eating rate to the textures they are consuming and will discuss how this can influence energy intake over the course of a meal.

If we think of eating behaviour less as a property of the individual and more as a property of the food, then it is possible to use a combination of food textures within a meal to influence eating behaviour and overall eating rate.  

The talk will share insights from recent studies that have used different food textures to slow eating rate and reduce overall food intake within a meal, and will propose approaches on how these findings can be applied to promote satisfaction while sustaining energy reduction. 

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