Emulsion oil droplet size significantly affects satiety: A pre-ingestive approach

Aaron M. Lett, Jennifer E. Norton, Martin R. Yeomans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
387 Downloads (Pure)


Previous research has demonstrated that the manipulation of oil droplet size within oil-in-water emulsions significantly affects sensory characteristics, hedonics and expectations of food intake, independently of energy content. Smaller oil droplets enhanced perceived creaminess, increased Liking and generated greater expectations of satiation and satiety, indicating that creaminess is a satiety-relevant sensory cue within these systems. This paper extends these findings by investigating the effect of oil droplet size (d4,3: 2 and 50 μm) on food intake and appetite. Male participants (n = 34 aged 18–37; BMI of 22.7 ± 1.6 kg/m2; DEBQ restricted eating score of 1.8 ± 0.1.) completed two test days, where they visited the laboratory to consume a fixed-portion breakfast, returning 3 h later for a “drink”, which was the emulsion preload containing either 2 or 50 μm oil droplets. This was followed 20 min later with an ad libitum pasta lunch. Participants consumed significantly less at the ad libitum lunch after the preload containing 2 μm oil droplets than after the 50 μm preload, with an average reduction of 12% (62.4 kcal). Despite the significant differences in intake, no significant differences in sensory characteristics were noted. The findings show that the impact that an emulsion has on satiety can be enhanced without producing significantly perceivable differences in sensory properties. Therefore, by introducing a processing step which results in a smaller droplets, emulsion based liquid food products can be produced that enhance satiety, allowing covert functional redesign. Future work should consider the mechanism responsible for this effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Early online date4 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Emulsions
  • Microstructure
  • Oil droplet size
  • Preload
  • Satiety
  • Food intake


Dive into the research topics of 'Emulsion oil droplet size significantly affects satiety: A pre-ingestive approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this