Food coatings that remain after swallowing starch-based or CMC-based custard desserts were investigated for 19 subjects. Foods were orally processed for 5 s using a pre-defined protocol, after which the food was swallowed. The remaining food coating was assessed sensorially as well as instrumentally using turbidity of rinse water. The instrumental and sensory results indicated a gradual decline of food coatings over intervals up to 180-270 s. Decline rates of coatings of individual subjects related significantly to their decline rates in perceived fattiness. Decline rates were somewhat faster for the starch-based custards indicating a role of salivary amylase in clearance of starch-based foods. No evidence was found for mechanical clearance with tongue movements. In stead, decline rates of coating after swallowing were primarily determined by oral movements before swallowing, whereby intense oral movements produced relatively little oral coatings and relatively slow decline rates, and vice versa. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.