First ready-to-eat texture modified Asian meals created for those with swallowing difficulties

Changi General Hospital inks licensing agreement with Health Food Matters to produce and market meals in the Asia-Pacific region


Singapore, 19 September 2016 – The first ready-to-eat texture-modified meals in local flavours have been created by Changi General Hospital (CGH). These meals are suitable for people with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) as well as the elderly who prefer soft meals. The meals will be produced and marketed under a licensing agreement signed today between CGH and local specialist nutrition company Health Food Matters (HFM).

CGH’s meals fill a gap in the market for meals that appeal to the local palate while meeting the dietary needs of those with dysphagia. These meals are available in three textures – finely minced, coarsely minced, or blended – to ease swallowing. These meals are nutritionally-balanced and ready-to-eat, thus enabling busy caregivers to attend to other tasks, or to seek brief respite from their caregiving duties. The meals have also been served to patients at St Andrew’s Community Hospital.

“Dysphagia is a common problem among the elderly and a growing health concern in Singapore due to the rapidly ageing population. We are pleased to have found a like-minded partner in Health Food Matters to produce these meals for a wider audience, enabling us to continue focusing on research and development in dietetics to meet patients’ needs,” said Ms Magdalin Cheong, Deputy Director, Department of Food Services, Changi General Hospital.

Under the terms of the agreement between CGH and HFM, the hospital will provide formulas and recipes for its meals to HFM, which will in turn produce, market and distribute the meals in Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. The partnership was negotiated in consultation with the National Health Innovation Centre. CGH and HFM were introduced to each other at TechInnovation 2015, an annual technology-industry brokerage event.

“The partnership between Changi General Hospital and Health Food Matters represents the successful push to develop healthcare innovations that improve healthcare delivery and patient care in the face of Singapore’s greying population. We are glad to have supported this journey to commercialisation, which will ultimately improve quality of life for people with dysphagia, as well as their caregivers,” said Mr Teo Cher Hwa, Deputy Director, National Health Innovation Centre.

CGH’s texture-modified meals are formulated to be nutritionally balanced, and ready to eat. They can be consumed exclusively as each meal meets at least 1/3 of the Recommended Daily Intake, and are low in fat, salt and sugar so as to be suitable for those with diabetes and hypertension. The meals are also:

• Prepared in industrial kitchens to high standards of food quality and safety
• Hermetically sealed with a shelf-life of at least 3 months when frozen
• Preservative-free
• Packaged for storage at temperatures of at least -18 degrees Celsius
• Heatable to temperatures of at least 70 degrees Celsius

Fourteen food items are currently available and will be manufactured by Health Food Matters under licence from CGH:

Cuisine Meal
Chinese 1.    Healthy Nonya chilli fish

2.    Steamed dim sum chicken

3.    Steamed fish with oriental sauce

4.    Five-spice chicken

5.    Braised ginger chicken with onion and carrot

6.    Braised ginseng chicken

7.    Healthy sweet and sour fish

Malay 8.    Kicap fish

9.    Seafood otak

10. Ayam kurma

11. Ayam masala

Western 12. Chicken patty with orange cheese sauce

13. Chestnut chicken patties with Neapolitan sauce

14. Poached fish fillet with tarragon sauce