Improving the Palatability of Nursing Care Food Using a Pseudo-chewing Sound Generated by an EMG Signal
Elderly individuals whose eating functions have declined can only eat unpleasant foods with very soft textures. If more varied food textures could be delivered, the pleasure derived from eating could be improved. We tried to influence the perception of food texture using a pseudo-chewing sound. The sound was synchronized with mastication using the electromyogram (EMG) of the masseter. Coincidentally, when the EMG is heard as a sound, it is similar to the “crunchy” sound emitted by root vegetables. We investigated whether the perceived texture of nursing care food would change in subjects exposed to the EMG chewing sound. Elderly participants evaluated the textures of nursing care foods. When the EMG chewing sound was provided, they were more likely to evaluate a food as chewy. In addition, several scores related to the pleasure of eating were also increased. These results demonstrate the possibility of improving the palatability of texture-modified diets.
KeywordsTexture-modified care food Chewing sound Electromyography Elderly Meal support
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