Optimised food products for elderly populations (OPTIFEL)
Optimised food products for elderly populations
Start date: Sep 1, 2013,
End date: Feb 28, 2017
Optilfel has as its ultimate goal to contribute to elders’ health by combating denutrition due to both physical capacities diminution and appetite loss. The concept of Optifel is to translate the knowledge on nutritional needs, food preferences and physical capacities into accurate specifications for food products and packaging. Food products (including packaging and food serving methods) will then be elaborated using both traditional and alternative technologies to meet these specifications and their acceptance tested by elderly. The population targeted by the project is elderly persons cooking at home or making use of meal-on-wheels services for whom the project will conceive food products adapted to their taste, habits, needs and constraints. The range of solutions envisaged span from taste and texture to nutritional quality, and microbial safety through packaging and delivery mode. Optifel will test the approach on fruit and vegetable products, which traditionally constitute a high part of elderly diet, offer great variety, and are amenable to texture manipulation.Optifel aims to- collect, refine and formalise user needs and expectations in terms of sensory and nutritional quality, texture, packaging’s cognitive and biomechanical ergonomics, and preparation convenience.- translate elders and caregivers’ needs and expectations into food products and packaging functional specifications to be delivered under the form of conceptual food models.- design and develop food processing and packaging to produce prototypes fulfilling the specifications.- assess the actual properties of the prototypes after food preparation and identify criticalpoints during final preparation and serving.- test the prototype products in meals-on-wheels and in nursing homes to evaluate their acceptance by elderly persons and care-givers.
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