New publication: CORDIS Optifel results in brief

Food for the elderly gets a total makeover

When physical disabilities and lack of appetite set in with age, it’s very difficult to maintain a balanced diet. EU researchers have tested more than 1 200 elderlies with a whole new range of food, taking into account taste and texture to nutritional quality, as well as microbial safety.

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Optifel final conference

The final conference of project Optifel was held on the 1st of February 2017, in Paris at the auditorium of Business France (77 Boulevard Saint Jacques 75 014 Paris, France).

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Optifel Dissemination day – Barcelona December 2016

A dissemination day about Optifel project has been organized by IRTA in Barcelona next 14th December.

Program (In Catalan): jornada-optifel-final
9:30 Taula Rodona 1. Anàlisi de la situació actual. Moderador: Toni Massanés
– Fotografia actual en dades. Jaume Serra. Agencia catalana de salut pública
– Necessitats nutricionals gent gran i canvis deguts a l’envelliment. Laura Padró. UB
– Alimentar-se, què hi diuen els nostres protagonistes?. Mª Gràcia Artigas. Emporhotel
– Discussió i preguntes
10:45 Taula Rodona 2. Especificacions i necessitats: dels nutrients a la taula. Moderador: M. Dolors Guàrdia
– Patologia de l’alimentació en la gent gran. Isabel Hernández. Fundació ACE.
– Disfàgia i alimentació per a la gent gran. Ivet Clemente. Serveis de Salut Integrats del Baix Empordà
– Solucions culinàries aplicades a l’alimentació triturada. Elena Roura. Fundació Alícia
– Discussió i preguntes

12.30 Reptes de l’alimentació a domicili per a la gent gran. Vicenç Sellés, Compass Group Spain
13:00 El camí per elaborar nous conceptes de productes per a persones grans: l’experiència del projecte OPTIFEL.
Pierre Picouet. ESA/IRTA
13.30 Showcooking, cuinar per seguir sent independents. Jaume Biarnés. Fundació Alícia
14.00 Dinar

Upcoming thesis defense about food for elderly!

Mathieu Mingioni will defend his PhD in Angers (ESA) November 24, 2016. His research work entitled “Food for elderly –  Sensory study of fortified fruits and vegetables” was conducted in the context of OPTIFEL project.

In a context of aging population and rising prevalence of malnutrition, the aim of this PhD thesis was to understand how to develop innovative food products that are nutritionally and sensorially adapted to elderly people’s diet using sensory tools.
A comparative multidisciplinary survey was performed in 5 European countries. We highlighted three main patterns of food habits and preferences in elderly people with culinary dependency (n=405). Despite those differences, we deliver a list of consensual fruit and vegetables (in the studied countries).
With 130 elderly people aged over 65 years old, we confirm the variability of sensory performances. We report original findings about gustatory discrimination abilities in which very few is known. Gustatory discrimination ability seems to remain stable before 80 years old but may decrease after. No link was found between sensory perceptions and appreciation for different apple purees. In a context of innovation, our results precise specifications by providing recommendations about possible ranges for sugar and acid concentrations to be used in apple purées.
Finally, using a sensory expert panel and 344 elderly people, we show that smoothies were not affected by the addition of vitamins. However, a protein supplementation (pea and wheat) significantly decreases sensory characteristics and hedonic evaluation of carrot purées.
Our results highlight the importance of sensory tools in a product development approach. It is important to include them all along the process of innovation.

Good luck Mathieu!

Optifel press release – October 2016

International Day of Older Persons 2016 – First announcement of the final conference

In 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated 1st October the International Day of Older Persons.
Take this opportunity to discover OPTIFEL, an innovative research project involving 26 European partners!

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Fortified potatoe and mushroom soup

Preparation time: 15 min

Cooking time: 30 min

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 150 g of potatoes
  • 150 g of carrots
  • 100 g of cultivated mushrooms
  • 20 g of butter or 2 tablespoons of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered milk (Calcium)
  • 1 tablespoon of wheat germ or yeast flakes (Copper, Selenium, Vitamin B9)
  • 1 egg yolg (Vitamin D)
  • Salt, pepper, parsley


  1. Peel and wash the vegetables, then cut them into pieces.
  2. In a saucepan, cover vegetables with water with a pinch of salt and cook 30 min.
  3. Blend the soup with cream.
  4. Add powdered milk, egg yolk, and wheat germ (or yeast) and mix with a whisk. Season and serve hot. Garnish each plate with parsley.

Final Optifel events: Save the dates!

The final meeting of Optifel will take place in Paris, Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st January 2017. This is an internal event (Optifel consortium only) to present the latest results and major outputs of the project.

The final conference of Optifel will take place Wednesday 1st February 2017 in Paris.
This is an external (and free) dissemination event to present the major results and expose in which way Optifel project’s outputs can be used in the activities of Health professionals, meals-on-wheels services, caterers and food industry.

Save the dates in your agenda!

Article about Optifel – Hay menu par viejos

An article mentioning the OPTIFEL project and upcoming symposium dealing with food and elderly people organised by Spanish partners has been released in Lavanguardia in July, 2016.

Extract (In Spanish): La Unión Europea sabe que procurar alimentos que apetezcan, convengan y satisfagan a la tercera edad no es solo una responsabilidad, sino también una gran oportunidad para centros de investigación y tecnológicos, para el sector de la salud y la industria agroalimentaria. Por eso promueve y patrocina programas de investigación como Optifel (Optimised food products for elderly populations), un proyecto financiado por el 7º programa marco europeo de investigación y desarrollo con tres millones de euros, que agrupa a 26 agentes de diferentes países durante tres años y medio para definir y desarrollar nuevos productos basados en frutas y verduras dirigidos a población anciana que cocine en casa o que sea usuaria de los servicios de alimentación a domicilio.

Source : Lavanguardia, 04/07/2016

15th International Symposium “Prospects for the Third Millenium Agriculture”

Centiv has disseminated OPTIFEL project at the 15th International Symposium “Prospects for the Third Millennium Agriculture”, held on 29th of September – 1st of October 2016 in Romania.

Posters were presented alongside the topic Food Science and Technology. The 2 short communications have been published in the Bulletin UASVM Food Science and Technology 73(2)/2016:

The 2 short communications will be published in Bulletin of UASVM-CN.

For more information:

img-20160929-wa0030 img-20160929-wa0021

White bean salad

Increase fruits and vegetables cooking to stimulate the appetite of elderly!
Red, yellow, green, orange… Vibrant colors combined with intense flavors can restore their desire to enjoy a tasty meal.

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 435 g of cooked white beans, drained
  • 100 g of carrot (diced)
  • 100 g of celery (diced)
  • 150 g of tomato (peeled and diced)
  • 100 g of red onion (diced)
  • 100 g of red pepper (diced)
  • 10 g of basil (chopped)
  • 5 g of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add carrot, celery, red onion, red pepper.
  2. Cook for 3 minutes over medium high heat stirring often.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove from pan and chill.
  5. Mix with beans and add the tomato.
  6. Season with salt and serve.

International symposium of Polish association of juice producers (KUPS) – May 2016

Opening of the 19th International Symposium of KUPS!

The Polish Association of Juice Producers (KUPS) invites you to the 19th International Symposium of Polish Association of Juice Producers “Prospects, opportunities, innovation in juice industry”, which will take place on 11-13th of May 2016, in Arłamów, Poland.

Jarosław Markowski will present some results from Optifel projets within the topic ‘Juice industry innovation’: Communication Food products for seniors, nutritional requirements and results of the OPTIFEL project.

To discover the program: Program KUPS 2016

Welcome to Nicolai Kraut!

Dr. Nicolai Kraut ( has joined as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Leeds and will be working on OPTIFEL Project for next 10 months.

New articles accepted in the Journal of Texture Studies!

New approach to food difficulty perception: food structure, food oral processing and individual’s physical strength. Laguna L., Barrowclough RA., Chen J., Anwesha Sarkar A. J. Texture Studies. DOI: 10.1111/jtxs.12190

Perception of difficulties encountered in eating process from European elderlies’ perspective. Laguna L., Mingioni M., I. Maitre I., V. Vanwymelbeke V., Pirttijärvi T., Artigas M.G., Kautola H., Järvenpää E., Mäenpää T., Tahvonen R., Grabska-Kobylecka I., Nowak D., Chen J. and Sarkar A. J. Texture Studies. DOI: 10.1111/jtxs.12192

March 2016 – Selected publications

Increasing the qualitative understanding of optimal functionality in older adults: a focus group based study. Algilani S et al. BMC Geriatr. 2016 Mar 23;16(1):70.

Mediterranean Diet and Health-Related Quality of Life in Two Cohorts of Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Pérez-Tasigchana RF et al. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 23;11(3):e0151596.



Next Optifel Meeting in Spain!

The next OPTIFEL Meeting (3rd Annual meeting) will take place on 03-05 February 2016 in Spain.

We will be welcomed by IRTA.

The 27 partners of Optifel project will meet in Monells, Spain during 3 intensive workdays. Photos to be followed in a few weeks in the website and the next newsletter!

Congrès francophone sur l’évaluation de la fragilité du sujet âgé

Le 4ème Congrès francophone sur l’évaluation de la fragilité du sujet âgé se déroulera à l’Hôtel Dieu Saint Jacques (Toulouse), les 17 et 18 mars 2016.

Le but est d’échanger sur les connaissances nouvelles et les expériences en cours visant à :

  • Repérer les patients fragiles/pré-fragiles en médecine générale et dans la communauté
  • Mettre en place des plateformes d’évaluation de la fragilité et de la prévention de la dépendance
  • Bien définir les interventions gérontologiques sur le long terme nécessaires pour avoir un impact réel avec notamment l’impact de l’exercice physique, les nouvelles technologies, la nutrition…

Le congrès est à destination des médecins, chercheurs, industriels, internes, chefs de clinique, étudiants, soignants et acteurs institutionnels.
Pour le programme, les inscriptions (changement de tarif le 10/02/2016), appel à communication (avant le 23 novembre 2015), merci de consulter le site du congrès.

Pour d’avantage d’informations :

November 2015 – Selected Publications

Higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, {beta}-carotene, vitamin C, {alpha}-tocopherol, EPA, and DHA are positively associated with periodontal healing after nonsurgical periodontal therapy in nonsmokers but not in smokers [Nutrition and Disease]. Dodington D.W. et al. Journal of Nutrition. 2015 Nov;145(11):2512-9.

Plasma carotenoids are inversely associated with dementia risk in an elderly French cohort. Feart C. et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Aug 18. pii: glv135.

Optifel at the Food for Elderly International Conference!

OPTIFEL project was strongly represented at the “Food for Elderly International Conference” organized by Zhejiang Gongshang University in Hangzhou 15 – 17 octobre 2015. Three members from OPTIFEL’s consortium were invited speakers at  this conference organised by Professor Jianshe Chen, who is a former Optifel participant.

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Fruit & Vegetable Processing 2016

The 2nd Euro-Mediterranean Symposium on Fruit and Vegetable Processing will be organized April 4-6, 2016, in Avignon (France). A transversal approach will be sustainability, including aspects of waste reduction, valorization of co-products, fermented F&V products acceptability, biopreservation, shelflife improvement, variability of raw materials, proteins.

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30/10 Submission deadline – World Conference of Gerontechnology

The Organizers invite all the actors of technology and services dedicated to ageing, mobility, care and quality of life to submit symposia to the 10th World Conference of Gerontechnology which will take place in Nice – France, September 28-30, 2016.

Submission guidelines are available on the congress website.

Deadline to submit proposals is : 30 October 2015.

Deformability of soft plant cells accessed by 3D images

Deformability of soft plant cells accessed by 3D images. Leverrier C. et al. 2017 (Accepted for publication in Food Biophysics).

Purees of fruit and vegetables are concentrated suspensions of plant particles. To make the link between process and texture, it is necessary to understand their rheological behaviour which is related to the plant cell volume fraction. However, plant particle’s volume fraction is not clearly defined yet. From a physical point of view, plant cells can be considered as soft, deformable and compressible particles, which are susceptible to decrease their volume under stress or when the concentration increases, making the volume fraction difficult to determine. To our knowledge, the ability of cells to compress themselves has never been shown directly from processed fruit or vegetable. Using confocal microscopy and 3D reconstruction, we developed a protocol to determine the volume of cells in concentrated suspensions. Four suspensions varying in cell wall content were analysed. Cells’ volume only decreases in highly concentrated suspensions. We demonstrate by direct observation the ability of plant particles to compress and decrease their volume when the concentration of the suspension increases.

Design of model apple cells suspensions: Rheological properties and impact of the continuous phase.

Design of model apple cells suspensions: Rheological properties and impact of the continuous phase. Leverrier C. et al. (Accepted for publication in Food Biophysics).

The objective of this work is twofold: to develop a relevant model system to study plant cells suspensions’ rheology and to evaluate the impact of the continuous phase composition and viscosity on the rheological behaviour of apple cells suspensions. Model suspensions of individual or clustered apple cells were developed. Rheological behaviours of both type of suspensions were observed separately, suspending from 0.145 g/100mL to 3.48 g/100mL of particles in
the model media and in the original apple serum. Our results show that model suspensions successfully reproduce the rheological behaviour of apple purees, following three concentration domains. In particular, cell clusters greatly reproduce the behaviour of bimodal apple purees, suggesting that clusters dominate the rheological behaviour of the whole puree. One of our main result is that continuous phase does not affect elastic properties of suspensions in the concentrated domain since they are essentially governed by particle interactions: G’ values are similar whatever the continuous phase. If the continuous phase has the main impact on diluted suspensions’ viscosity, its effect becomes smaller as particle concentration increases. A lubricating effect was observed in the concentrated domain for continuous phases containing polymers. Presence of polymers may help in structuring the network in the intermediate domain.

Optifel press release – January 2017

Discover the results of the European project OPTIFEL!

What are senior’s preferences for fruit & vegetables? Which factors to take into account to design food products for seniors? Which type of packaging is the most suitable?
These questions will be discussed during the final conference of OPTIFEL project to be held on February 2017, the 1st in Paris from 9:15 to 17:15.
Main topics:
• Specificities of the elderly people: specific wishes and needs for autonomous and dependant seniors
• Designing and delivering food for the elderly: the case of fortification
• Storage, delivery and implementation of products

Please find enclosed the Press OPTIFEL Final conference 2017 announcing the final conference of OPTIFEL project.