The snacks will be targeted at those at risk of undernourishment due to small appetites or impaired swallowing abilities.
“Patients with a small appetite often struggle to eat a whole portion of the high-protein, high-calorie products currently on the market. Our goal was to develop a nutritious, fresh-tasting snack product that could be given to patients on demand,” says application specialist at DuPont, Mads Wiene.
An estimated 40% of patients are at risk of undernourishment, leading DuPont to begin research for alternatives to heavy textured and tasting hospital foods patients often reject.
Along with the research and development specialists at the hospital, DuPont have developed the concept of the frozen sherbets and asked Aabybro Dairy, one of the oldest dairies in Denmark, to produce them.
Owner of Aabybro Dairy, Niels Henrik Lindhardt, said “We had previously worked with Aalborg University Hospital to develop ice cream for patients with small appetites. So, when DuPont came with this concept, it was very attractive for us – especially as we know there are customers ready to buy it.”
Wiene said the main difficulty in this task was meeting the requirements of the hospital meeting the requirements of the producer.
“Of course we can make a suggested recipe that suits the needs of the hospital but it should also suit the requirements from the producer regarding what is the ice cream quality, what are the demands in the production, is it feasible to produce with the equipment that they have…” he said.
The hospital requires the product to be soft enough to swallow and gentle on the stomach, whilst still being high in protein and nutrients.
During taste tests, the chocolate, lime and blackcurrant tastes proved to be favourites among patients.
The product, created by Aalborg University Hospital, Aabybro Dairy and DuPont, is now ready for production after an acceptance test by hospital patients.
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