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Food Transport and Bolus Formation during Complete Feeding Sequences on Foods of Different Initial Consistency


Food movements during complete feeding sequences on soft and hard foods (8 g of chicken spread, banana, and hard cookie) were investigated in 10 normal subjects; 6 of these subjects also ate 8 g peanuts. Foods were coated with barium sulfate. Lateral projection videofluorographic tapes were analyzed, and jaw and hyoid movements were established after digitization of records for 6 subjects. Sequences were divided into phases, each involving different food management behaviors. After ingestion, the bite was moved to the postcanines by a pull-back tongue movement (Stage I transport) and processed for different times depending on initial consistency. Stage II transport of chewed food through the fauces to the oropharyngeal surface of the tongue occurred intermittently during jaw motion cycles. This movement, squeeze-back, depended on tongue–palate contact. The bolus accumulated on the oropharyngeal surface of the tongue distal to the fauces, below the soft palate, but was cycled upward and forward on the tongue surface, returning through the fauces into the oral cavity. The accumulating bolus spread into the valleculae. The total oropharyngeal accumulation time differed with initial food consistency but could be as long as 8–10 sec for the hard foods. There was no predictable tongue–palate contact at any time in the sequence. A new model for bolus formation and deglutition is proposed.

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Hiiemae, K., Palmer, J. Food Transport and Bolus Formation during Complete Feeding Sequences on Foods of Different Initial Consistency. Dysphagia 14, 31–42 (1999).

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  • Key words: Bolus formation — Food transport — VFG — Oropharynx — Valleculae — Soft palate — Tongue — Normal feeding — Deglutition — Deglutition disorders.