Background/Aims: Elderly persons with dysphagia need food that requires little or no chewing, that is easy to swallow and has attractive sensory characteristics. The aim was to investigate how ingredients varied according to experimental designs influence the perceived sensory, chewing and swallowing characteristics of two types of texture-modified model foods. Methods: Meat- and carrot-based, texture-modified model foods were produced. The following parameters were varied: particle size, fat content, starch and egg composition. The samples were studied using sensory analyses, focus group discussions and consumer studies. Results: The design parameters mainly had an impact on sensory texture attributes. The experts in the focus groups selected three products of each type which were regarded as being optimal for older persons. All the products contained a high proportion of egg yolk and a low amount of starch. Older consumers considered all the selected products to be easy to chew and swallow. The differences between older persons in nursing homes compared to those living in their own homes could be linked to health. Conclusions: Optimization of factors influencing food quality through the use of experimental designs in combination with sensory and consumer studies is required in order to meet the needs and demands of older people.
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