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Using ice-cream as an effective vehicle for energy/nutrient delivery in the elderly

Spence, Charles, Navarra, Jordi, Youssef, Jozef
International journal of gastronomy and food science 2019 v.16 pp. 100140
dietary energy sources, eggs, elderly, gastronomy, hospitals, ice cream, ingredients, mouthfeel, nutrients, powders, recipes, restaurants, sensation, sugars, texture, vegetables, vitamins, Japan
In this article (submitted as a Proposal), we investigate the use of ice-cream as a potentially effective vehicle for the delivery of nutrition/energy to the elderly in hospital and in old people's facilities. Currently, there appears to be a general belief that ice-cream is an unhealthy product and so is not commonly considered in this capacity. That said, the cooling sensation, as well as the dynamic contrast, that ice-cream provides appears capable of providing positively-valenced sensory stimulation at mealtimes to those elderly individuals who, for whatever reason, might not otherwise eat enough (i.e., who may well be malnourished). After outlining the problem, we go on to provide recipes for those wishing to replace eggs and sugar using the latest ingredients and techniques from the field of food science/molecular gastronomy. We illustrate how widely available meal replacement powders and/or pureed vegetables can be incorporated into the recipe to make ice-cream a more effective vehicle for the delivery of nutrients/vitamins while maintaining an appropriate texture/mouthfeel. We link to the savoury ice-creams that were popular historically, and also those that are currently popular in Japan, not to mention in a number of high-end modernist restaurants. Furthermore, a number of other strategies for making ice-cream more appealing, including everything from improving the naming of the dish through to optimizing the plateware on which it is served, and the use of sonic seasoning, are also discussed briefly.