ONCOFOOD: New food solutions for cancer patients

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. Close to 70% of patients undergoing treatments experience side-effects that may have a large impact on the daily food intake.

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, thus leading to a negative impact on their quality of life.

The ONCOFOOD project proposes the design and development of new innovative food solutions addressed to cancer patients considering not only their nutritional requirements but also their sensory alterations, promoting the pleasure of eating and preventing malnutrition.

A range of food solutions targeting taste and smell alterations (i.e. soups, mousses in pouch packs, fruit and vegetable beverages, dairy desserts and seasonings) will be developed and tested on cancer patients. 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. A broad range of 3D printed meals and snacks will be created.

Project Leadership: Itziar Tueros, AZTI

Contact details: itueros@azti.es

University of Reading Activity Lead: Professor Ian Givens

Contact details: d.i.givens@reading.ac.uk

Participating organisation: