Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

The ToMaSS -APP Validation Study

What is this study about

Assessment of mastication or chewing is part of our clinical examination for swallowing difficulties. The Test of Masticating and Swallowing Solids (ToMaSS) is one test used in clinical practice. Cracker biscuits are used as part of the test. The test involves measuring the number of bites per cracker, the number of chewing cycles, the number of swallows and the total time that someone takes to eat one cracker.

Prof Maggie Lee Huckabee and colleagues devised the test and seven types of crackers were originally used. The research team in New Zealand have now developed an app (ToMaSS-App) to help therapists complete the assessment more easily in clinic.

We plan to collect new information for this App on what is normal for adults using a cracker that is available in the UK and Ireland  

The aim of this study is to collect normative data for one specific cracker (TUC™) to establish new data set for the ToMaSS-App. 

Who can take part in the study?

Healthy adults aged 18 years +  who typically eat biscuits as part of their normal diet and who have no reported difficulty with chewing or swallowing

Who cannot take part in the study?

Adults with the following:

  • Coeliac disease or a known allergy to gluten
  • Loose dentition
  • Temperomandibular joint problems

images taken from

What does the study involve?

The study will take place in the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies, TCD or a place convenient to you. It will involve 15 mins of your time, but you may need to allocate 30 mins to complete the paperwork. There may be two people present including the research student ( Dimitra Berdesi)

If you decide to participate you will be asked to eat a TUC cracker and one of the research team will record how you many swallows are needed and how long it takes to eat the cracker. You will be given some water to drink if your mouth feels dry before or after the study.
Your age and gender will be recorded on the research form but no other identifying information is sought and your name will not be recorded

If you have any questions or would like to take part, please contact Dimitra Berdesi
who will provide further information or Dr Margaret Walshe (