Release of peppermint flavour compounds from chewing gum: effect of oral functions

Anne-Mette Haahr, A. Bardow, C.E. Thomsen, S.B. Jensen, B. Nauntofte, M. Bakke, Jens Adler-Nissen, W.L.P. Bredie

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


During chewing, the oral cavity functions like a bellow, forcing volatile flavour compounds into the exhaling air to the nasal compartment. Accordingly, we hypothesised that flavour release from chewing gum is predominantly governed by chewing frequency (CF), although other oral functions, like masseter muscle activity (MMA), chewing force (CFO), and saliva flow rate (SFR), may also play a role. In 10 healthy young males, the retronasal expired air of menthol and menthone from peppermint-flavoured (2%) chewing gum was determined as functions of CF, SFR, MMA, and CFO. The experimental setup comprised three separate series of a 4-min chewing period. These series differed only with respect to CF, i.e., habitual frequency, and 60 and 88 strokes/min. Results showed that more than 50% of the released menthol and menthone could be retrieved in the expired air and saliva. After 2-min of chewing, the concentration of flavour compounds in the expired air depended primarily on MMA and CF, becoming higher with increased MMA and CF. The concentration of flavour compounds in saliva depended primarily on SFR and the duration of the chewing task, becoming lower with high SFR and prolonged chewing duration. An increased volume of saliva in the mouth seemed to keep more flavour compounds in the aqueous phase, thereby diminishing the release via the retronasal route. In conclusion, flavour release to the retronasal compartment was dependent on MMA and CF and influenced by the volume of saliva present in the mouth.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiology & Behavior
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)531-540
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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