Health Packaged Food Science What's New

Hormel’s Newest Meat Products Are Designed For Those With Swallowing Disorders

For those with a form of dysphagia, or swallowing disorder, it can be very difficult to eat various forms of foods, especially meat. Hormel’s Health Labs has come up with a solution specifically for meat, developing a line of ready-to-go meats that are designed for those with forms of dysphagia.

Photo courtesy of Hormel Health Labs

To prepare meat for those with dysphagia, it has to be ground to a certain size and consistency for safety and comfort reasons. The meat products that Hormel Health Labs just developed were made in accordance with the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI). These meat products are suitable for IDDSI level 5 (“Minced and Moist,” about 4mm in size, the standard size of chewed food particles) and level 6 (“Soft and Bite-Sized,” about 15 mm in size, small enough to prevent asphyxiation should food accidentally get in someone’s airway).

Hormel’s products fit within these standards, but are also meant to be a quick and easy way to prepare tasty meals for those with swallowing disorders. Considering that most meals for those with dysphagia tend to be poor in “quality of life” standards, these could signify a marked improvement in enjoying food when it comes to meals.

You can purchase these in turkey, chicken, pork, and beef varieties. They are available in resealable packaging, and can be portioned out to cook in the microwave or on a stovetop. Buying these requires getting in contact with a sales rep for Hormel Health Labs, which can be done at the above link.

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A Startup Created Melting Snack Bars Designed For People With Swallowing Disorders

For folks with dysphagia, a term used to describe a variety of swallowing disorders, one of the biggest challenges can be getting proper nutrition. 1 in 25 adults suffer from this condition, which makes it hard to get nutrition outside of baby food and pureed meals.

Nowadays, multiple solutions are starting to develop as ways to improve nutrition and meal enjoyment for those with dysphagia. Hormel, for example, just created a series of pureed meal kits that focus on taste. A new startup called Nutraphagia is also creating a solution, but through snack bars that literally melt in your mouth.

Called EAT Bars, these snacks consist of a meringue surrounded by a flavored Greek yogurt coating. Developed by speech pathologist Tia Bagan, these new bars are a taste-driven way for those with dysphagia to enjoy a satiating snack.

EAT Bar just launched in January, but Bagan has been working on the meringue bars for at least three years. She got the idea working at nursing homes and hospitals while getting her degree. Many of the patients she attended to had a need for something that “tasted good,” “was calorie dense,” and “melted quickly.” This led to the development of these bars, which sold out rapidly upon their first Amazon launch.

The yogurt coating and meringue interior both dissolve when they mix with moisture, making it easy for those with dysphagia to eat the bars. Flavors are also crafted to help with this, which is why variants like Lemon Meringue are so important. According to Bagan, the taste of citrus can help increase saliva generation, which further helps these bars disintegrate.

At the heart of the EAT Bars, though, is a focus on flavor to ensure those with dysphagia can enjoy the food. It also creates a snacking occasion they may have not had before. Since three bars translates to a single serving, consumers can feel like they’re enjoying multiple items at once, not just one prepared meal. They can be shared with other family members as well for a more social experience.

For those with dysphagia, it could be huge to just have this ability to eat something outside of the microwave pureed meals they typically have to resort to.

You can find EAT Bars for sale on the company’s website. A pack of 12 bars sells for $21.49.

Feel Good Health News Packaged Food

Hormel Just Created Meal Kits Designed For People With Swallowing Disorders

1 in 25 adults today suffers from dysphagia, a term given to a range of disorders that affect your ability to swallow. It is especially prevalent among the elderly and those who suffer from multiple sclerosis, dementia, a stroke, or injuries to the head and/or neck.

Today, according to Hormel Health Labs marketing director Tim Garry, most of those people get their nutritional needs through “baby food.” Those products are at the right consistency and texture for those with dysphagia to eat, but are often seen as poor quality-of-life options.

Hormel Health Labs has a new range of products that look to improve on that, with over 30 new items available in their Thick & Easy meal kits, designed for folks suffering from these conditions.

Photo courtesy of Hormel Health Labs

The meals can be simply steamed or microwave to reheat and eat, and were chef-crafted to make sure they capitalize on flavor. Each pureed meal kit comes with over 30 different items, enough for six lunch or dinner meals. Breakfast meal kits are also available, with enough food for nine different meals as an option. Choices include Maple Cinnamon French Toast, Roast Turkey with Stuffing and Green Beans, or Italian-Style Beef Lasagna, as examples.

For those with dysphagia, these meal kits could represent a way to get taste and more crafted nutrition back into their lives while being able to control what they eat more.

Hormel Health Lab’s meal kits are available through most major healthcare distributors, but can also be ordered online by the individual kit or as part of a subscription program.