Food for health and well-being

Context and challenges for business innovation

With the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge, and under the impetus of consumers' growing desire to individualize services and to take into account their health concerns, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in the field of human nutrition. This change offers a new field of high value-added innovations, particularly in terms of functional foods adapted to a particular mode of consumption or to specific nutritional needs, but also in terms of "tailor-made" foods targeting specific categories of populations.

Tailor-made food aims to meet consumers' health aspirations, while taking into account the specificities of each individual, linked to their genetic profile, physiology, age, lifestyle, environment, etc. From a scientific point of view, the development of tailor-made food is inherent to the advent of high throughput analytical methodologies, which have allowed a major advance in knowledge.

Carnot's contributions to accompany them in their evolution

To address these major challenges, Qualiment® researchers develop innovative, multidisciplinary expertise targeting all stages of the value chain, including raw material optimization, transformation process improvement, to meet specific biological objectives, adapted to different segments of the population. The access to high-level technological platforms allows scientists to conduct internationally renowned research and to be stakeholders in the elaboration of health policies.

Carnot Qualiment® provides its competences to companies, to help them to propose to consumers products and diets adapted to their nutritional and hedonic needs, their genetic and metabolic profile, their age, their health status and their lifestyle.

Areas of expertise

Background to date

In France, the population over 60 years old is expected to reach more than 24 million individuals in 2050 compared to a little more than 16 million in 2015 (source INSEE). In this population, the risk of undernutrition, which results from insufficient food intake in relation to needs, is becoming very high. Thus, one of the major societal challenges of the coming years is to secure this population in its diet by considering the hedonic characteristics of the offer and the respect of food preferences and habits.

Challenges for business innovation

Undernutrition affects 4 to 10% of people over 65 living at home, and up to 30 to 70% of those in hospital. 46% of elderly people who delegate all or part of their diet are undernourished, or at risk of undernutrition. The physiological causes of undernutrition can be, among others, linked to a decrease in sensory sensitivity and to oral disorders. On these two points, the solutions proposed in terms of food supply are not always satisfactory (poor palatability, unpalatable aspect, etc.).

The importance of two physiological mechanisms (chewing and salivation) as determinants of oral comfort and pleasure in eating has been highlighted. A work of co-creation of recipes with seniors allows a significant increase in caloric intake. Using vegetable-based products, generally appreciated by the elderly, for protein enrichment allows a significant increase in protein and calories consumed.

Carnot's contributions to accompany them in their evolution

Qualiment® researchers have complementary expertise to help companies develop their offer for seniors. In a reverse engineering logic, they are able to accompany them in taking into account the mechanisms in the mouth and the physico-chemical properties of the food bowl to develop food matrices. Qualiment® helps to develop an offer that rethinks the food in all its dimensions (taste, aroma, texture, appearance, etc.) and that takes into account the great inter-individual variability observed in seniors, while reconciling comfort in the mouth and digestive comfort. The evaluation of the link between the properties of the food bolus and the bioavailability of nutrients, in particular proteins, is also one of Carnot's competencies.

Background to date

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