An Introduction to Food Tribology, a New Tool in the Rheological Toolkit

Tribology, the study of friction, lubrication, and wear, has piqued the interest of many food scientists over the last two decades. The increase in the popularity of tribology is partially due to its potential to reveal information about the presence and causes of textural attributes that traditional rheometry cannot provide.  For example, tribological measurements may be able to indicate differences in friction-related texture attributes, such as astringency, fatty mouthcoating, and grittiness.  It can also offer another method to differentiate food products that have different textures but similar rheological behaviors.  While tribology does not provide the “magic bullet” test that explains all sensory attributes and eliminates the need for descriptive analysis, it is still a valuable tool that, when used in conjunction with other rheological tests, can provide a fuller picture of food structure–function–texture relationships.

In this webinar, you will learn

1) the basics of tribology as applied to food products,

2) how tribological measurements of foods are commonly performed,

3) current uses and limitations of tribology in food texture approximation, and

4) potential applications of tribological measurements.


Recording available
Dr. Helen Joyner (English)
Helen Joyner

Dr. Helen Joyner is an Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho in the School of Food Science.  Her research focuses on rheological and tribological behavior of food products, with the goal of determining relationships between structure, mechanical/friction behavior, and sensory texture.  She has over eight years of experience in evaluation of rheological and tribological behaviors of fluid, semisolid, and solid food products.  He current focus in on dairy products, although she has worked with many other products, including bread, sauces, gels, and emulsions.  While her lab focuses on fundamental rheology research, Dr. Joyner also works on applied research with industry, as well as provides contract testing services for a wide variety of food products.  Dr. Joyner teaches courses in Food Engineering, Food Quality Management, Evaluation of Dairy Products, and Food Rheology.  She is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists, the American Dairy Science Association, and the Society of Rheology, and has served in multiple volunteer roles for these organizations. She is currently the faculty advisor for the Washington State University/University of Idaho IFTSA College Bowl Competition team and Collegiate Dairy Product Evaluation team.

Get free access now!

Simply fill out the form below to receive free access to tools and restricted content.