During the period, 20 older adults (70+) living at home answered a questionnaire about eating habits. Together with similar research in England and France, this has laid the basis for choosing common food dishes that can be developed and enriched with protein. In addition, two focus groups have been conducted to examine challenges and opportunities in connection with cooking at home. Together with answers from corresponding groups in England and France, preparation methods were chosen which are possible to carry out in the three countries and which were the starting point for choosing recipes. Eight dishes that are commonly used in all the countries were selected for further development. Two commercially available protein powders were chosen for enrichment in the recipes developed. The recipes are based on common dishes and embrace different food matrices: sweet/savory, hot/cold, liquid/solid. They are enriched to contain more protein and energy than the original recipes and optimized for taste and use. 51 home-living older adults (70+) in each country have been sent a box of ingredients as well as questionnaires to make and evaluate the recipes. The results are not yet available. The prerequisite for the optimization of the recipes is that they must be able to be prepared at home by the older adult.
During the period, the foundations were also laid for developing MOOCs that deal with food, cooking and nutritional needs intended for the elderly.
Poor appetite is a major determinant of protein-energy undernutrition while contrary to common beliefs, nutritional needs decrease little with age and even sometimes increase. Fortification, which consists in adding high-energy/high-protein ingredients to regular drinks or foods is acknowledged to be a flexible and relevant approach for older people with reduced appetite. In parallel, several studies have demonstrated better effect of interventions combining nutritional approaches with physical activity over nutritional or physical activity interventions alone.
Given this context, FORTIPHY will develop new solutions allowing older people (= 70 years old living at home) to fortify their regular meals, and will assess the added value of physical activity to meal fortification. In order to ensure high adoption and compliance levels for FORTIPHY solutions, end-users (older people, caregivers) will be associated in the project through co-creation and participatory research.
A first work package will be dedicated to the rational design of fortified recipes through (i) an unbiased review of available high-protein ingredients and (ii) the identification of technological and consumer usage constraints. Based on these inputs, a second work package will develop fortified recipes considering the preferences of older people (home-used tests). The bioavailability of the amino acids in fortified dishes and potential impact of these dishes on satiety and biological markers of appetite will be measured. A third work package will assess the efficiency of meal fortification and the added value of physical activity to prevent the onset of the risk of undernutrition in older small eaters living at home (randomized controlled field trial). A fourth work package will disseminate the results in a massive open on-line course (MOOC) and a Summer School, contributing to raise the awareness of stakeholders regarding the issue and the solutions to prevent undernutrition.