Food for elderly gets a total makeover

When physical disabilities and lack of appetite set in with age, it’s very difficult to maintain a balanced diet. EU researchers have tested more than 1 200 elderlies with a whole new range of food, taking into account taste and texture to nutritional quality, as well as microbial safety. The results from Optifel project, which ended in February 2017, promise some great innovations! The NutriFizz team, mandated by ARCADIA International, was in charge of coordinating Optifel's "Dissemination" workpackage.

A nutritious, appetising dish is the result of its chemistry, biology and processing combined with the diner’s tastes and needs. As elderly people present a special set of requirements, the OPTIFEL (Optimised food products for elderly populations) project has translated seniors’ nutritional needs, food preferences and physical capacities to a precise set of specifications for a range of foods based on fruit and vegetable products.

Catherine Renard, coordinator of OPTIFEL explains ‘The aim of OPTIFEL is to fight the onset of elderly malnutrition by achieving a paradigm shift: rather than remedying elderly nutritional deficiencies, the project will contribute to fight appetite loss with attractive and nutrient-dense food products.’

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