Heston Blumenthal and the taste buds of care

It’s delicious to read that Heston Blumenthal  is collaborating on a project to improve nutrition on elderly care wards in hospitals.

As people age their taste buds decline, so food becomes less appealing.

The Reading University team has been experimenting with introducing strong flavours from Japanese food into British classics like shepherd’s pie.

The long-term goal is to develop a series of recipes that rejuvenate the palate of older diners, and combat malnutrition.

The Patients Association is campaigning to improve nutrition for the elderly in hospital through initiatives like protected mealtimes.

Spokesperson Katherine Murphy said they welcomed the research but health leaders also needed to look at issues like staffing.

The three-year project is supported by the charity Research into Ageing, the medical research arm of Age UK.

If your mission is successful, HB, would you then please move on to introduce your culinary talents to dementia care assessment units, to all residential care homes, and to the assorted ‘meals on wheels’ services up and down the country?  It has always intrigued me that care staff of all persuasions can stick a plate of food in front of a patient/resident, and then take that same plate of food away – untouched and uneaten – without considering the reasons why.  Then, lo and behold, they occasionally weigh their patient/resident and note the fact that they have lost weight.  Again, without wondering why.

So more power to your taste buds, and if you need any more tasters to test their own taste buds, I’ll volunteer.

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