Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Carol Britson

Relational Format



The study assessed individual oral motor activity while eating different types of chocolates through the use of electroglottography (EGG) and surface electromyography (sEMG). I hypothesized that chocolate samples with higher milk solids and cocoa composition would be preferred by subjects as assessed by subject evaluation of textural attributes for the four chocolate samples. I predicted that preference will be significantly and positively correlated with oral motor events [e.g. sEMG activity of master and suprahyoid muscles, total number of chewing actions, and time to last swallow (EGG)]. The experiment used a subject group of 40 students enrolled at the University of Mississippi between the ages of 18 and 24 with informed consent. Subjects were asked to consume four chocolate samples as they normally would, but to consider and rank the degree of bitterness, hardness, mouth coating, and satisfaction for each sample. Water was consumed after each sample. The subject had sEMG electrodes positioned on each side of the face at the masseter muscle and hyoid muscle, and one sEMG ground electrode on the shoulder. EGG electrodes were positioned at each side of the thyroid cartilage ('Adam's Apple), and one EGG ground electrode on the shoulder. The subject consumed one randomly selected sample of chocolate to measure chewing and swallowing events. Data collection began from the time the chocolate is placed in the mouth, and conclude after the last swallowing event. The overall preference was significantly different between chocolate types with gourmet milk chocolate being the most preferred, and gourmet dark chocolate the least. Significant differences were observed within each intake survey ranking. Significant relationships were observed between bitterness and mastication muscle forces and between hardness and chew time parameters. Mouth coating ranking showed a significant relationship to average masseter force and average chew time of chews 1-5. Finally, satisfaction showed a significant relationship with average chew time of chews 1-5 and chew rate. Each textural attribute significantly correlated with a mastication parameter from the first five chews indicating that textural attributes are decided in the beginning of mastication and flavor release. The experiment shows that a significant relationship exists among eating behavior, textural attributes, and preference.

Included in

Biology Commons



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