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Research Call

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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11F045 Teagasc (UCC) €491,306

Project Title:

Enhancement of texture, flavour and nutritional value of meat products for older people

Project Coordinator:

Dr Ruth Hamill

Project Abstract

Healthy ageing is a grand challenge of growing international importance. Red meat is intrinsically a source of certain nutrients which are particularly important for healthy ageing. These include protein for growth and repair, fatty acids such as conjugated linoleic acid and Omega-3 for cognitive function, as well as vitamins and micronutrients such as heme iron, calcium, selenium and zinc. According to the recent National Adult Nutrition Survey, meat is a staple food of older people in Ireland (NANS, 2011). As well as their intrinsic nutritional content, meat products thus offer further potential as vehicles for fortification with added nutrients targeting deficiencies common in older adults, but little work has been done in this area. While increased consumption of meat by older people is desirable, meat is a challenging food matrix, in terms of texture and food intakes generally decrease in older adults with reported consequences for health, wellbeing and vitality. This project aims to optimise meat processing, formulation and packaging technologies in relation to food structure, flavour, nutritional content and consequently functional performance with a view to providing case studies and tools that will enhance the ability of Irish meat processors to tailor meat products to the requirements of older people. If meat products can be made more appealing to older adults by modifying their texture, while retaining or enhancing their nutritive value, this could be a valuable step forward to enhance the quality of life of this growing sector of the population.

Final Report:

Not available yet.