An exploration into the normal population’s responses to thickened liquid viscosities
Griffiths, Helen Louise
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Clients who have dysphagia and are at risk of aspirating are often recommended drinks thickened with a starch based thickener to help reduce health risks associated with dysphagia. Twelve healthy adults sampled 6 beverages consisting of 3 different viscosities (normal, mid and thick consistencies) and 2 drink types (orange juice and tea). Participants completed a questionnaire rating each sample using a 5 point semantic differential scale. Sensory characteristics (appearance, taste, texture and thickness) were rated according to participants’ perceived palatability of each sample, followed by their report of compliance with each sample relating to 5 different warning levels which increased in severity of risk to health. Higher viscosities significantly reduced a drink’s perceived palatability and report of compliance with advice to thicken drinks. There was no significant difference between the level of health warning and participants’ report of compliance to recommendations for thickened drinks. Development of thickening products to improve drink palatability may help to improve client satisfaction and compliance with recommendations. Further research into compliance with a thickened drink regime and perceived severity of health risks is required to establish the strength of health warning necessary to make clients comply with recommendations for thickened drinks, thereby reducing the risk to clients’ health.
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