Adapting dysphagia meals for acceptance among a broader group of older adults

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Acceptance of texture-modified meals in healthy older adults with pre-clinical symptoms of dysphagia may facilitate gradually transitioning to a soft diet. Little is known about the sensory attractiveness of such meals in home living older adults. This study aimed to examine liking among a group of healthy, independent older adults for texture modified chicken breasts and gravy. A secondary aim was to evaluate liking in relation to olfactory- and taste function. Texture-modified chicken breasts were prepared to appear identical to the unmodified chicken breasts. This is a new approach which aims to improve visual appearance of the meal compared to existing texture-modified meals. Ordinary chicken breasts obtained significantly higher liking scores across all sensory parameters compared to the texture-modified products. Texture modified chicken breasts need further adjustment for a broad acceptance. Adding flavor-enhanced gravy did not change the liking pattern. This study supports the notion that texture plays a central role for meal acceptance. Practical Applications: Healthy older adults find the modified texture of chicken breasts acceptable. The unique technique applied to modify the texture uses fresh ingredients while offering improved flavor and appearance, which increases the acceptability of meals in a social context. These meals represent an acceptable alternative for older adults in a preclinical state of dysphagia who require meals comparable to unmodified chicken breasts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12894
JournalJournal of Sensory Studies
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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