The role of friction in food texture sensations are reviewed with the focus on results from our own laboratory, concentrating on texture sensations that are affected by the lubricative properties (e.g., roughness and creaminess), by the viscosity (e.g., melting and thickness) and by the used thickeners (e.g., airiness and heterogeneity). A food's lubricative properties are affected by its fat content, fat droplet size, particle size and shape and thickener. Foods with lower fat contents, larger fat droplets, larger particles and specific thickeners exhibited higher friction while their creaminess and fattiness sensations, associated with good lubrication, are reduced. Roughness and dryness sensations, associated with poor lubrication, are increased. Taste and flavor compounds also affected these texture sensations, albeit via a different mechanism. Specific compounds can affect the lubricative properties of saliva resulting in friction-related sensations, such as astringency. Astringent compounds interact with proline-rich proteins in saliva, causing precipitation that may be sensed as discrete particles and/or increased roughness. Alternatively, the compounds may precipitate dead cells and other debris present in saliva. Astringent compounds may also directly affect the surface properties of the oral mucosa. © 2006, Blackwell Publishing.