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Exploring how food can meet upcoming social challenges

08/01/2009

With nearly 20% of the population aged over 65, it is imperative that technology be used to address their needs.

One of the major challenges facing the public and private sectors is to provide for the aging population so that they can enjoy a good quality of life in their senior years. Not all foods are good for people as they grow old or if they suffer from certain age-related illnesses.

To address this issue, in 2009 AZTI-Tecnalia and Mugaritz joined a consortium of universities, multinational companies and technology centres to work on the Senifood project. For over four years, we studied the effects of a series of ingredients on the most common age-related illnesses and designed a range of suitable food products which could contribute to a balanced, age-appropriate diet. Obviously, they also had to taste good.

The products were put to the test in a retirement home. It was the first time Mugaritz had been involved in this kind of consortium and it was also the start of a joint line of research into health and aging with AZTI-Tecnalia. The project is still ongoing.

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