Gourmet colors, vectors of good health for seniors

Guerry Estelle – France Laboratoire LAPLACE – Université de Toulouse

The 2000s saw a growing consideration of the link between nutrition and health. Thanks to the multiple studies that are carried out, the modern conception of the nutrition gives a place more and more important to the diet, in front of a major factor of health. These studies place particular emphasis on the growing benefits to the elderly. Indeed, more and more geriatric clinical studies are drawing attention to this link between nutrition and health. Nutrition is indeed one of the main factors that can influence the aging process. And this relationship between aging and nutrition is two-way. In the same way, aging can have consequences on how to eat. This is why it’s important to ensure the proper nutrition and adaptation of the diet. Our study focuses on the case of elderly with swallowing disorders and a recurrent state of undernutrition, which often go hand in hand.
We then question the therapeutic scope of an innovative concept, “chromatic nutrition”, where color becomes a major ally when taking meals. Indeed, taste comes first through sight. A multisensory search for greedy colors helped to identify appetizing and stimulating chromatic combinations, summoning the sensory memory attached to tastes. We associate with this search for greedy colors, a research on textures and more precisely the use of modified textures, adapted to the swallowing disorder. The color makes possible a restitution and a rediscovery of the flavors, often denatured by the aspect of the modified textures. This new chromatic composition makes it possible to question in particular the codes of the gastronomy and the collective catering in favor of an innovative, stimulating and greedy culinary experience which can be declined for the daily meals.
Thanks to this innovative meeting, combining color research and textures research, we seek to promote a therapeutic diet that awakens the senses, restores the desire and experience of taste among seniors. Thus, this concept of “chromatic nutrition” becomes a key element for a harmonious aging and factor of good health.