An investigation of main meal preferences in nursing home residents

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Nursing home residents are at high risk of undernutrition. Their nutritional status could possibly be improved by identifying and serving meals according to their preferences. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate basic sensory customization factors of most preferred main meals in nursing home residents. In total, 40 popular Danish meals from two hospital kitchens and one meals-on-wheels kitchen were chosen for the study. Thirty of the meals contained meat (pork, beef, mixed meat, chicken, and fish) and the rest were plant-based. Twenty-nine nursing home residents evaluated liking of appearance, flavor, and texture on a five-point liking scale. The test was divided in eight tasting sessions, where the participants tested five food samples per session at 10.30–11.30 a.m. Prior to the tasting sessions, the participants were screened for nutritional risk and eating problems and level of appetite was tested on a five-point category scale. The sensory meal preferences included meals containing fish, beef, and pork and could be related to meal familiarity and chewing and swallowing difficulties of old adults, which should be kept in mind when making further adjustments in the meal preparation before served the target group.

Practical applications: Product development and sensory meal customization are used in various ways to improve food intake indifferent populations. When focusing on nursing home residents, customization of meals could be a way to improve the nutritional status of this target group. Before determining the exact way of customization, the actual acceptance of the meal types available for nursing home residents should be identified. In this way the sensory factors of high and low liked meals could be found, and the product development initiated. To gain in sight into meal preferences from the target group of focus, meal tasting sessions with nursing home residents could be used.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12504
JournalJournal of Sensory Studies
Issue number4
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Old adults, Nursing home residents, Undernutrition, Main meal preferences, Liking scale, Appearance, Flavor, Texture

ID: 218354281