Acceptance of a Protein Fortified Biscuit Recipe for Use among Geriatric, Nutritionally Compromised Patients

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Malnutrition is prevalent in the geriatric population, as is age-related decline in skeletal muscle mass. Research indicates that nearly forty percent of older adults in skilled nursing facilities across the nation are undernourished, with over half experiencing protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). Effects include a gradual loss of mass, strength and function. Concurrently, studies indicate optimal protein-energy intake increases the quality and length of life, and mortality may be reduced by supplementation in this group. However, as protein needs increase, skilled nursing facilities struggle to meet patient protein needs as appetite, amino acid metabolism, chewing, and swallowing capacity decline. Nutrient-dense foods are essential in promoting geriatric health with an emphasis on protein. Fortification of foods is a common, cost-effective approach to enhance nutritional health in this setting, as increasing the volume of food intake is not always a viable solution. The aim of this research was to create a functional food, fortifying a food item that is eaten as a part of a typical diet. Researchers modified a biscuit recipe to increase the protein and calorie content of this popular southern food and compared the acceptance among a sample of adults (n=97) during a blind trial, and the effects of adding two different protein powders, a whey protein modular or instant dry milk powder, on nutrient composition. Analysis of Variance and post hoc testing indicated a statistically significant effect when adding protein sources on acceptability, texture, and flavor (P<0.05). Participants rated the flavor and overall acceptance of the milk fortified protein biscuit highest among variations, with the texture of the control and milk variations most similar, the whey variation was poorly accepted. Results suggest the addition of instant dry milk powder to a popular biscuit recipe may be a cost-effective method of improving its nutrient composition, while maintaining acceptability.

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© 2018 Johnson ME, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.