Low frequency high power Ultrasound: Platform to develop fabricated double emulsions improving food safety for dysphagia throughout COVID-19

Hosseinian, Farah | $50,000

Ontario Carleton University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

Dysphagia is an oral disability disorder that leads to difficulty swallowing, aspiration and chocking. Recently, in some elderly COVID‑19 patients it was reported that one of the key unusual symptoms was painful swallowing. Diet is a key factor for improving overall immune system and it is a top priority to improve overall health for patients that are experiencing dysphagia symptoms. This proposal aims to improve swallowing through the development of better food products by applying green techniques including high power, low frequency ultrasound to the currently available food formulations. Our partner Apetito HFS Limited produces variety of foods, drinks, puree soups, puree meat and desserts. Their puree-based foods (thickened soup) is an emulsion (water in oil) designed for individuals with dysphagia disorder. Although the current thickened soup is tasty, the texture and consistency (key points) do not posses physical properties that are required to meet the high standards of costumers. The soups loses its emulsion properties followed by syneresis, which results in a soup being too runny after thawing. Therefore, optimization factors for emulsion stability, consistency and thickness of puree-type soups are key objectives for this project. To achieve this, we will work on modifying HFS puree formulations by developing special double emulations, using high power low-frequency ultrasound. Response surface methodology (RSM) will be employed to optimize factors (texture, consistency, stability, shelf life, taste, and colour) in the new formulations. Together with our partner organization, we will integrate primary research, to finds solutions by new product development and prototyping new product, and testing of prototypes by sensory analysis in order to help oral dysfunction in elderly patients. This project will increase food safety and security in Canada.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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