The Secret to Recovery: Making Food Taste Good Again

Let's face it, eating and drinking are two of life's most simple joys. 

However, enjoying delicious meals or indulging in satisfying drinks are simple activities that many take for granted. For people who suffer from chronic conditions that make swallowing difficult, those basic functions can be challenging. 

That's why Danone works tirelessly to approach these health battles with nutritious, tasty foods designed specifically for the patients who need them. 

Safe Swallowing

For example, Nutricia developed Nutilis, an enriching range of powders, supplements and drinks for those who may have dysphagia, a disorder that makes it difficult to swallow and safely consume normal foods and drinks. The specially-formulated thickening product helps patients eat nutritious meals and swallow beverages safely. It enables care providers to serve food like biscuits in a safer-to-swallow form.

To further restore some of the pleasure of eating to dysphagia patients, Nutricia also teamed up with the Alicia Foundation — an organization founded by Ferran Adrià of elBulli, a world renowned former 3-star Michelin restaurant in Catalonia, Spain — to create dysphagia-friendly takes on classic dishes, like ratatouille and the British dessert banoffee pie.

As part of the partnership, Nutricia and the Alicia Foundation organized The Chefs Council, a group of culinary and health care experts committed to standardizing food preparation for patients with dysphagia.

Accommodating Changing Tastes

While safely eating and drinking are huge feats for some, tasting the food and beverages can be an incredible bonus. For patients whose senses have been altered due to medications or treatments, restoring taste can be crucial to their wellbeing.

That’s why the effective management of dysgeusia, a condition that distorts the perception of taste is another priority for Nutricia. Dysgeusia typically afflicts cancer patients and can lead to malnutrition at a time when a nutrient-dense diet is particularly vital.

Through cutting-edge research, product development and a partnership with HungerNdThirst Foundation, Danone Nutricia Research is researching non-pharmacological measures to effectively manage this condition. For HungerNdThirst’s founder, Robert Greene, it’s a mission that carries special significance as a cancer survivor himself.

“I struggled with taste changes caused by the cancer and the chemotherapy. The metallic taste affected the way I felt and took away all joy of eating,” Greene said. “With Danone Nutricia Research, I found a partner to join forces with in combatting nutritional challenges and improving the quality of life of cancer patients.”

Innovate to deliver the best possible care

Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition is Danone’s medical nutrition business that works to pioneer nutritional solutions to ensure longer, healthier lives for patients. Its teams at Danone Nutricia Research have pioneered a breadth of nutritional innovations ranging from the world’s first hypoallergenic, amino-based infant formula for the dietary management of cow’s milk allergy to oral nutritional supplements designed to provide essential nutrients for malnourished cancer patients.

“Nutricia’s ambition is to establish medical nutrition as an integral part of health care,” said Dominique Poiroux, Executive Vice President, Danone’s Advanced Medical Nutrition business. “That drives us to deliver innovative products, clinical evidence and services that help health care professionals deliver the best possible care for their patients.”

To learn more about Danone’s Advanced Medical Nutrition business, read this.