International research project to investigate new approaches to preventing undernutrition in the elderly
Can innovative products made of plant-based proteins and fibre be combined with physical activity to help prevent undernutrition in elderly people who suffer from poor appetite? This is what the project ‘Innovative plant protein fibre and physical activity solutions to address poor appetite and prevent undernutrition in older adults (APPETITE)’ hopes to find out. Nutritionist Prof. Dr. Dorothee Volkert from the Institute for Biomedicine of Aging (IBA) at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is the project coordinator responsible for leading the multidisciplinary consortium of eight institutions from six European countries. The focus of the APPETITE project lies on elderly people who live at home and who make their own meals, but have poor appetite and an increased risk of undernutrition. The team of researchers is developing products made of plant-based proteins and fibre that are easy to use and are therefore suitable for a wide range of foodstuffs. The team is researching how the human body processes the plant-based proteins and fibre in comparison to animal-based sources of protein. They will subsequently investigate the effects of selected product variants and physical activity on appetite and the occurrence of undernutrition in older adults with poor appetites. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture is providing 125,000 euros of funding for the international project, which is due to start in April, as part of the joint programming initiative ‘A healthy diet for a healthy life’ (JPI-HDHL).