Definition of texture is reviewed, and a system for classification of textural characteristics of foods is described. The system is based on fundamental rheological principles, and at the same time is suitable for routine use. Textural characteristics are defined and classified into mechanical and geometrical qualities as well as those related to the moisture and fat content of a product. The mechanical characteristics are subdivided into the primary parameters of hardness, cohesiveness, viscosity, elasticity, and adhesiveness, and into the secondary parameters of brittleness, chewiness, and gumminess. It is pointed out that popular terms used to describe texture often denote degrees of intensity of these characteristics. The proposed classification lends itself to use with both objective and subjective methods of texture characterization.