The influence of olfactory impairment in vital, independently living older persons on their eating behaviour and foodliking

S. Kremer, N.T.E. Holthuysen, S. Boesveldt

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38 Citations (Scopus)


These two studies investigated eating behaviour and food liking of independently living Dutch older people with and without olfactory impairment. In the first study, an internet survey was conducted in relation to their olfactory status (n = 512; age 55–91). Hyposmic older people reported eating the same meal more often within a week than their unimpaired peers, and they also differed in some of the types of foods they reported eating as snacks (i.e. fewer cookies and nuts, more candy). In the second study, various strategies to increase food liking among older consumers were investigated, as well as their liking of reformulated foods with an expected reduced palatability. The strategies included (1) combined visual enrichment and flavour enrichment of mashed potatoes, (2) enhancement of taste intensity and thickness of gravy, and (3) flavour enrichment of stews. The reformulation encompassed (1) salt reduction of meatballs and (2) protein enrichment of bread. Thirty-eight young consumers (age 32.3 ± 8.9 y), 41 normosmic older consumers (age 65.1 ± 5.2 y), and 43 hyposmic older consumers (age 68.5 ± 5.9 y) assessed food liking on a 100 mm visual analogue scale. Both older groups increased their food liking in response to the changes made in the mashed potatoes and gravies, decreased their food liking in response to the salt reduction in the meatball and increased their product liking once information was given on the reduction. In conclusion, older persons – regardless of their olfactory status – may respond positively to multi-sensory enrichment in warm meal components. At the same time, certain types of foods may still appeal more or less to hyposmic older persons which in turn may lead to the development of different dietary intake patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-39
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • age-related-changes
  • flavor amplification
  • nutritional-status
  • functional foods
  • salt reduction
  • taste
  • smell
  • malnutrition
  • consumption
  • perception

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