According to the World Health Organization, in 2016 there were around 7.1 million patients who were diagnosed with cancer or were undergoing treatment for cancer in Europe.
One of the main challenges for cancer patients undergoing treatment is to prevent or mitigate malnutrition. They often experience adverse side-effects (i.e. taste loss, bad taste in mouth, metallic taste, sores in mouth, vomiting, loss of appetite) that may have a large impact on the daily food intake. The current clinical nutrition market offers different oral nutritional support products. However, they do not address the pleasure of eating, nor patients’ food preferences, thusleading to a negative impact on their quality of life.
The ONCOFOOD project will design and develop new innovative food solutions for cancer patients considering not only their nutritional requirements but also their sensory alterations, promoting the pleasure of eating and preventing malnutrition.
Based on the needs of cancer patients, the barriers to current food propositions, and the expectations they have towards new remedies, a range of food solutions will be developed to deal with alterations in taste and smell. The opinion of cancer patients is key to the success of the project. We will collaborate with them through focus groups and interviews and through engagement in tasting and acceptance of these new products.
In addition, ground-breaking food technologies such as 3D printing will provide new food solutions for those cancer patients that experience dysphagia or temporarily need a soft diet at hospital.
One of the main challenges for cancer patients undergoing treatment is to prevent or mitigate malnutrition.
In addition, ground-breaking food technologies such as 3D printing can provide new food solutions for those cancer patients that experience dysphagia or temporarily need a soft diet after a surgical procedure at hospital. A broad range of 3D printed meals and snacks will be created.
Expected outcomes and impact
- A unique and innovative range of high added value food products addressed to cancer patients considering their nutritional and sensory requirements that the current market is not offering.
- A broad impact not only in business creation but also on society and EITFood community.
- A range of food solutions targeting taste and smell alterations (soups, mousses in pouch pack, fruit and vegetable beverages, dairy desserts and seasonings) will be developed and tested with patients. From these, at least two will be selected for launching into the market.
AZTI (leader), Maspex, University of Reading, University of Warsaw, Fruktus Agros Nova, Ekoland, NaturalMachines.
UE – EIT Food – KAVA – Innovation Programme
2020 – 2021