Bridge builders – Building sustainable nutritional bridges between research and health and wellbeing services for elderly


Coordinator: Teija Rautiainen, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences,

Period: 2020-2022

Alternative proteins important for the elderly

The Nordic region shares same megatrends and challenges of aging and the need for sustainable solutions, where food and nutrition play a crucial role. Since aging increases substantially the need of protein and sufficient energy- and nutrient dense food, the focus is in the research and use of alternative proteins, various sources of protein in elderly peoples diet.

With increasing age both internal and external difficulties and restrictions rise. These factors can influence food consumption and furthermore older peoples health and functional capacities diminishing the quality of their every-day life. So emphasis in research is also put on creating caring mealtimes for elderly people (according to FAMM; Five Aspects Meal Model and the Hospitable Meal Model). 

Wooden bridge over small rocky stream. Photo.

Research into practice

In order to get new findings and understanding of food and its effectiveness into operation, they need to be implemented in social and health care services for elderly people.    This requires that also education of professionals involved is reformed and research findings are intertwined with and integrated in educational curriculums.

As a result, wellbeing and functional capacities of the elderly can be improved and societal burden of increasing care and costs diminished or at least kept the same. 

Variety of expertise

Bridge Builders consists of a wide and diverse range of expertise in food and nutrition research (healthy food, alternative proteins, mealtime interventions, aging) as well as in service applications and good practices (dietary habits and environments, training of social and health professionals).

Participants represent Denmark (University College Copenhagen), Finland (South-Eastern University of Applied Sciences), Norway (University of Stavanger) and Sweden (Linnaeus University).

By sharing and working together we build bridges between research and practice.