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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2014 14/F/822 UCD, (Teagasc) €593,034

Project Title:

Novel nutritional solutions to combat chronic malnutrition in the elderly

Project Coordinator:

Dr Brendan Egan

Project Abstract

Context: Chronic malnutrition is highly prevalent, but preventable, in the Irish elderly population. Nutrition-related sarcopenia is a consequence of protein-energy malnutrition. A key feature is “anabolic resistance”, wherein muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is reduced due to a blunted anabolic response to insulin and dietary protein. Long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) supplementation could reduce anabolic resistance to enhance MPS in response to dairy protein and prevent sarcopenia. Hypothesis: (1) Combining protein and LC n-3 PUFA within a novel food may prevent sarcopenia; (2) Older consumers have distinct product requirements relating to sensory, textural and nutrition. Experimental Approach: A survey will define prevalence of sarcopenia. Consumer focus group approaches will define novel food products criteria for subjects >65y. A human intervention study will establish efficacy of dairy protein with LC n-3 PUFA. Potential novel peptides from potato extract on MPS will be defined in vitro.


  • Define prevalence of chronic malnutrition and sarcopenia.
  • Stimulate older consumer product innovation beyond current oral nutritional supplements
  • Demonstrate efficacy of novel nutritional solutions combining protein and LC n-3 PUFA for nutrition-related sarcopenia.
  • Liaise with three Irish SMEs to enhance innovative novel food solutions to prevent malnutrition.
  • Disseminate novel nutritional science.


Final Report:

Not available yet.