Varela Guerino, Luciana1; Ferreira, Ana Carolina Roos de Menezes2; Siviero, Larissa2; Rabito, Estela Iraci3
Introduction: Despite the importance of oral nutritional supplements intake for maintaining and restoring nutritional status, supplements acceptability and taste preference may have great variation depending on the subject’s health condition.
Objective: To evaluate oral nutritional supplements sensory perception by hospital inpatients receiving oral nutrition for a long period of time.
Methods: Longitudinal prospective study, conducted with inpatients that stayed at a public hospital for a minimum of seven days, from June 2015 to February 2017. Data regarding weight, height, and body mass index were obtained directly from the dietitians, whereas age, care unit, and diagnosis were collected from medical records. A 9-point hedonic scale was used to evaluate organoleptic properties of the different nutritional supplements. The following sensory attributes were evaluated on the first and seventh day of supplement intake: taste, aftertaste, texture, smell, and visual aspects. Statistical tests were conducted using the variance analysis. This study was approved by the research ethics committee of the Clinics Hospital of the Federal University of Paraná (Certificate of Ethical Appreciation: 41606615.0.0000.0096).
Results: From the 240 inpatients assessed, only 68 were included in this study, as they received oral nutritional supplements during seven days or longer and were older than 18 years. From these, 52% were men, 66% were inpatients from the medical care unit, and 16.7% presented gastroenterology diagnosis. Supplements with different chemical compositions and flavors were offered in 14 different types. Overall, the patients’ perception regarding the supplements was good on both days, especially for the attributes taste and aftertaste (p=0.0005 and p=0.0003, respectively). Strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate were the flavors most prescribed. Considering the scores “extremely like” and “like very much”, strawberry was the flavor that received the highest scores (p=0.02). Hyperproteic supplements obtained lower scores compared to hypercaloric supplements (p=0.001).
Conclusions: Inpatients attributed positive evaluations to the prescribed oral nutritional supplements during the sevenday intake. The strawberry flavor and hypercaloric supplements were better accepted than the others.