[A] To develop ready-to-eat meals to address limited mobility of elderly living at home/community setting
With limited mobility, it can be hard for the elderly to travel or be independent in purchasing or preparing food. As a result, elders who live alone may reduce food consumption and rely only on ready-to-eat food products stored at home, leading to malnourishment and poor health over time.
An estimated 30% or more of elderly consumers will require access to ready-to-eat/easy-to-prepare meals. Access to such meals can improve the elderly’s nutritional status, reduce risk of dietary deficiencies and hence lower risk of associated chronic diseases.
While ready-to-eat meals with local flavours are increasingly available for purchase by retail consumers, there is a lack of such products designed for elderly consumers. Increasing the variety of such elderly-friendly ready-to-eat meals would improve nutritional intake and health outcomes for elders staying at home. These meals should include elderly-friendly features such as:
- Smaller quantity but more frequent meal occasions, as elderly consumers have smaller capacity to consume large quantities of food in one sitting
- Adequate nutrition with carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals
- Acceptable texture for elderly consumption; for elderly with swallowing difficulties
Products can be developed for breakfast, lunch and dinner settings. Meals should ideally be priced less than $5 per serving. An estimated 7,000 meals could be required per month.
[Optional] Hospitals and nursing homes typically have central kitchens for meal preparations. However, external catering may occasionally be required due to maintenance or staff shortage. Companies can design elderly-friendly meals that can be used by elder-care institutions in such situations. The meals should cost about $3 per serving.
To provide convenient meals with adequate nutrition and appropriate texture for elders (aged 65 years or above) with limited mobility at home/community setting.
Must have (Core):
- Carbohydrate and adequate protein sources with vitamins & minerals to ensure product partially meet the elderly’s Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
- Each meal to meet 25% of RDI for Singapore adults aged 60 and over, based on 1500-1800kcal per day
- Cater for physiological changes: delayed gastric emptying of older adults à require small frequent meals to meet daily calorie and protein needs
- Nutritionally balanced à calorie content of meal contributed from:
- Carbohydrate: 50-60%
- Fat: 20-30%
- Protein: 15%
- Acceptable texture for elderly consumption:
- Food particle size served should be smaller than usual and bite size, e.g. cut-up solid food (1-2cm), soft solid food (0.1-0.5cm) or blended.
- Moisture content of the food between 70-80%; density of the food between +/-0.9 to 1.2 g/ml and flowability +/->1 cm/30 sec
- May vary depending on type of food
- Asian flavours acceptable to local elderly. Can be enhanced with herbs and spices:
- Spices: Chilli, curry, five spice powder
- Ginger, onions, garlic
- Miso, sambal, etc
Nice to have (Flex):
- Pleasant and pleasing to the eyes
- Easy storage with reasonable shelf life, i.e. ideally > 1 month
- Packaging that is safe and convenient for elders with limited mobility to handle, e.g.:
- Preparation stage: convenient to prepare; preparation process is safe for elders to handle
- Serving stage: easy to open packaging for eating; safe for elders to touch after heating
Must not have:
- Short shelf life, i.e. < 5 days
- Foreign in taste
- Products can be used for elderly consumers at home (i.e. sold at retail or pharmacies), as well as in institutional settings (i.e. use in hospitals, nursing homes).
- An estimated 30% or more of elderly consumers will require such meals. Estimated 7,000 meals per month could be required by lead entity if successfully developed.
- Meals should ideally be priced less than $5 per serving (retail setting); about $3 per serving (nursing home setting).
Please refer to the attachment for full details on the problem statement.
Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiries on this problem statement.
To submit your concept proposal, please click on the APPLY button after logging into your user account.
Do remember to attach the completed concept proposal form in your submission.