Pilot with kitchen infrastructure for research into the overlap between care and nutrition
The Kitchen Pilot is an EFRO investment project for developing a test environment that simulates the actual conditions for packaging, cooling and regenerating meals. In addition to research and simulations for preventing quality loss (sensory and nutritional), data can be collected in such a research environment that can optimise meal delivery (e.g. heating in delivery van, heating time, heating components separately). It is crucial that the flavour and meal experience of the consumer/dependants can also be monitored. By reaching a co-creation process with end-users during product development, the food industry can meet the demands of the target group in an optimum manner.
As soon as the devises are ready to use, valorisation research will begin whereby the knowledge gained will result in new products and services. On the one hand, the target group is food industries and commercial kitchens, including preparing meals for care facilities, and on the other hand, the care facilities themselves. The broad food industry includes ingredient suppliers, producers from various sub-sectors such as caterers. Care facilities include hospitals, public and private residential care centres and rehabilitation centres, first-line actors such as GPs, home care nurses, dieticians, etc . The knowledge generated will ultimately be useful for society and the entire healthcare sector. In the short term, people with healthcare needs will be involved in the co-creation process of the research into the impact of food on health and meal delivery. In the long term, the target group will be expanded to include the entire population.
Flanders’ FOOD manages and coordinates the project. This EFRO project is a collaboration between VIVES University, TUA West, ILVO and Flanders' FOOD with European funding.