Three-Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal has joined forces with a team of scientists at Reading University to develop hospital food recipes.
The Reading University team has been experimenting with introducing umami into British staples such as shepherd’s pie to enhance the taste. The long-term aim of the project is to develop a series of recipes that revive older diners’ palates. The project is also hoping to work towards combating malnutrition among the elderly.
Dr Lisa Methven, lead researcher, told the BBC that older people suffering from a deterioration in taste don’t get an extra taste bud, while they can be fitted with a hearing aid or a pair of glasses. “Our hope is that we can develop foods that older people can get more pleasure out of and enhance their nutritional status,” she said.