Malnutrition is a serious community health problem affecting many elderly, who are at higher risk of health issues resulting from poor nutrition. NZMP's involvement in an EU-funded project seeks to find solutions to the growing issue of protein malnourishment in older adults.
Comprising 24 scientific, nutritional, epidemiological, ageing and industry specialists, NZMP has joined the EU funded ‘Prevention of Malnutrition In Senior Subjects’ (PROMISS) project. The five-year programme will investigate the diet and appetite of older people (aged 70+), and the extent to which these affect subsequent malnutrition and functional decline.
The research programme will enable the development of dietary and physical activity strategies, as well as the design of creative inventive protein-enriched food concepts, to prevent malnutrition and support active and healthy ageing.
PROMISS project lead from the NZMP European Office, Senior Nutrition & Regulatory Manager Siska Ten Hoeve, states that the growing European population provides the challenge of keeping an increasing number of seniors across all European countries healthy and active. ‘’Research shows that older adults need more protein to support their good health. Protein malnourishment can cause weakening and shrinking of the muscle, as well as other health-related problems. Older adults living at home are at risk of protein malnutrition (PEM), which can result in serious health problems.’’
As a knowledge and development partner, NZMP’s dairy protein ingredients are being used throughout the trials; participants will add NZMP protein-fortified products to their regular diets, including a coconut protein water, a chocolate and vanilla pudding and rice pudding.
Separate tests will assess what the participants thought of the tastes, and mobility and muscle outcomes. ‘’The opportunity for Fonterra to test its protein ingredients amongst this target group and gain evidence based insights have been important arguments to join the PROMISS project,’’ Says Ten Hoeve.
Fonterra Director of NZMP Medical Nutrition Maarten van Beek says developing protein-fortified foods that is a close fit to ‘normal food’, with great taste and texture, is a key focus for NZMP. ‘’There is a growing global need for protein-fortified nutritional solutions for the ageing population that allow them to enjoy nutritious foods in their later years.’’ Van Beek leads NZMP’s Medical Nutrition Business Unit which formulates a range of dairy nutrition solutions to help people recover from malnutrition and for those who want to take preventative actions for the benefit of their health as they age. These are part of NZMP’s broad range of dairy ingredients and solutions developed for global food and beverage companies. To speak to a member of the NZMP Medical Nutrition Business Unit, please fill in our contact us form.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant no 678732.