What Type of Food Can Older Adults Masticate?: Evaluation of Mastication Performance Using Color-Changeable Chewing Gum
This study determines if older adults can masticate regular foods via a simple test conducted using a color-changeable chewing gum. Seventy-nine consecutive inpatients of our clinic receiving rehabilitation and general medicine were assessed for eligibility. The inclusion criterion was >65 years. Thirty patients consented to participate. The main outcome variable was the food bolus texture at the swallowing threshold for five regular foods. The main explanatory variable was the a* value of the color-changeable chewing gum after 120 s of chewing (a* represents the degree of color be tween red and green, and a positive a* value indicates red). The mean age ± standard deviation of the participants was 81.6 ± 8.6 years, and 40% were men. Participants being able to prepare the food with suitable texture for swallowing was positively associated with the a* values in boiled ri ce, ginger-fried pork loin, boiled fish-paste, and rice cracker (Crude OR 1.18, 1.15, 1.17, and 1.50;P
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