More people eat plant-based foods. Among them are older adults, who should eat enough proteins to maintain muscle mass and strength when they get older. Plant-based foods contain protein of lower quality. To enable older adults to safely change their diet to more plant-based, we develop a tool. This tool checks their diet on deficiencies in nutrients and amino-acids and gives them feedback to improve their (plant-based) diet.
We will interview older adults and dietitians to get a good overview of their wishes for functionalities, and their way in which they will use the tool. We have databases ready with amino-acid profiles for almost all food items. Users will enter their dietary intake data, and smart algorithms will spot areas for improvement and calculate alternatives that will improve the nutritional quality of the meals. The end-user will be able to select a preferred alternative from a list of options.
Expected results and impact
- At the end of the project, we will have a blueprint for the application and a clear vision on which next steps should be taken to reach the market, within 2 years.
- We will have databases and algorithms in place to automatically calculate ‘missing piece’ alternatives to incomplete vegan meals.
- We will help to make the protein transition accessible for older adults.
- We will target individuals who want to eat more plant-based while avoiding nutritional deficiencies.
Partners involved in the project
- Project name: Project Alpha – Alternative Proteins for Healthy Ageing
- Website: www.alpha-tool.eu
- Coordinator: Wageningen University
- Duration: 9 months
- Starting Date: 01/04/2022
- Total budget: € 300 000
- Public contribution: € 237 000