Vibromyography was used to quantify oral activity during the processing of well-characterized semi-solid model foods whilst subjects assessed the intensity of the sensory attributes to thick, creamy, melting, fatty, rough and liking. A series of eleven starch-based vanilla custard desserts was prepared with five different viscosities, three different fat levels, and three different particle sizes. Over 5 sessions, subjects (N = 10) took 5 ml spoonfuls of each of the stimuli for 5 s before they rated the strength of the various attributes. The results demonstrated that oral movements varied significantly with the type of semi-solid food and with the type of attribute. Individual subjects displayed a highly idiosyncratic behaviour. Oral movements were significantly related to sensory ratings of liking, creaminess and roughness. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.