Brain-friendly cake shines light on cognitive decline

UNSW’s professor Johannes le Coutre and professor Kaarin Anstey, have helped develop very special brain-friendly cake.

UNSW’s food and health expert, Professor Johannes le Coutre, and Director of UNSW’s Ageing Futures Institute and Senior Principal Research Scientist at NeuRA, Professor Kaarin Anstey, have helped develop very special brain-friendly cake.

In collaboration with community care provider, Meals on Wheels NSW, the cake uses ingredients that have shown to be beneficial to the brain while highlighting the widespread issue of cognitive decline among senior Australians.

According to Prof. le Coutre, using his background in food and nutrition science to help conceptualise a cake was new territory for him.

“When I was first approached about this project, I was intrigued by the challenge of creating a cake which may be beneficial to cognition, using ingredients from different food groups, while also providing an experience for Meals on Wheels customers,” he says.

“Along with Meals on Wheels and a team of specialists, we had to consider both ingredients and texture – including how to minimise sugar, and how to ensure the cake’s texture was suitable for individuals who suffer from dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, which is a concern for some older Australians.

“Using the currently available scientific evidence, we came up with a list of foods that are understood to provide quality nutrition – which is really important as we age – while still allowing for the nostalgic enjoyment of eating a slice of cake.”

For a full list of ingredients, click here to find out more.

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