Undernutrition and dehydration issues are common among the elderly and are a major concern to health professionals. If we add these two problems to a partial or total inability to chew or swallow liquid or solid foods (dysphagia), the situation quickly becomes more complex.
 
Lisa Duizer, a professor in the Department of Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, has been interested in this clientele and the challenge of dysphagia for several years. Dr. Duizer and her collaborators’ goal is to improve the nutrient content of foods and potentially improve the nutritional intake of this population at risk of complications. Indeed, these researchers are directing their studies mainly on the effects of starches and gums on the structural decomposition of food specially designed for people suffering from dysphagia and their impacts on sensory properties. For more information…
 
While Lisa Duizer tries to improve the nutritional values of menu proposals, companies such as the Quebec company Epikura® are also looking to satisfy the elderly clientele by designing meals with a modified texture that are as appetizing as they are delicious and adapted to the conditions represented by this swallowing dysfunction. By combining both nutritious and organoleptic qualities, it would be possible for our seniors to regain the pleasure of eating and have a better overall quality of life.
 
Session 1 of BENEFIQ 2018 on Top Health Food, Ingredients and Trends will be featuring Lisa Duizer that will give a lecture on the real challenges of dysphagia and the potential of certain texture modified food.

 

To get a head start, here are some recent articles by this Canadian researcher:

 
1.    Prevalence of inadequate micronutrient intakes of Canadian long-term care residents.
2.    Prevalence and Determinants of Poor Food Intake of Residents Living in Long-Term Care.
3.    Effect of Micronutrient Powder Addition on Sensory Properties of Foods for Older Adults.
4.    Effect of hydrocolloid type on texture of pureed carrots: Rheological and sensory measures.