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Lithuanian researchers create special food for elderly patients

04 April 2019 | News

Visually attractive and tasty food was tested with a group of geriatric patients.

image credit- shuttershock.com

image credit- shuttershock.com

Researchers of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) have developed innovative micronutrient-rich food product for geriatric patients.

Visually attractive and tasty food was tested with a group of geriatric patients. The nutritional state and the health indicators of the patients improved significantly after a mere 10 days of consumption of the new product.

Older people, especially those who have swallowing disorders, usually suffer from poor nutrition. Often they do not consume enough proteins, their nutrition lacks vitamins B and C, minerals, such as Zinc and Selene and unsaturated fatty acids. Malnutrition and unintentional weight loss contribute to a progressive decline in health, reduced physical and cognitive functions, such as weakened sight and sense of taste, and increased mortality.

The food developed by the KTU team is rich of unsaturated fat, has fewer carbohydrates and lactose and more fat-soluble vitamins A and D3, and contains the main vitamins from B group and minerals such as Zinc, Selene and Calcium. The product has creamy consistency to be easily consumable for people with swallowing difficulties. Black chokeberry extract renders it the beautiful colour and good taste, at the same time enriching the product with valuable anthocyanins.

Encapsulation technology, a process during which the active agents are being entrapped within a carrier material, was used for inserting micronutrients into the product. This improved the delivery of the bioactive materials from the food during its digestion.

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