Changes in orosensory perception related to aging and strategies for counteracting its influence on food preferences among older adults

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

The aging of the world population is accelerating. To meet the food and nutritional needs of the expanding aging population, it is necessary for both food researchers and food industry to obtain a good understanding of how aging affects orosensory perceptions. There is a need for potential strategies to counteract these adverse effects on food preferences in order to maintain food appetite in old age.

Scope and approach
This review paper has two main objectives: 1) to review evidence and causes of orosensory changes with aging and to indicate influences of age-related orosensory changes on elderly's food preferences; 2) to summarize the effects of compensatory strategies (e.g., flavor and texture modifications) for counteracting age-related orosensory changes and suggest potential compensatory strategies for further investigations, which have great potential to contribute to the food appreciation among specific elderly segments with greater orosensory impairment and higher needs for sensory modified foods.

Key findings and conclusions
Research indicates that the interindividual variability in orosensation impairment among the elderly population is not only increased with age, but also related to events (e.g. increased dependence) that are associated with aging. Generally, flavor and texture modifications are the most important strategies in compensation of losses in masticatory and chemosensory ability thus enhancing the appreciation of foods and stimulating food intake, especially among the less dependent elderly with poorer health. In future studies, food researchers and food industry should consider targeting these specific subgroups of elderly while exploring a well-balanced multisensory compensatory framework for specific food systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Food Science & Technology
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 161623537