The Pure Food Co are set to revolutionise texture modified food

Three Kiwi entrepreneurs have come up with a variety of new options in texture modified food for those with eating difficulties caused by illness, injury or age. But instead of the usual soup, jelly and mashed potato they offer golden roast chicken, creamy fish pie and other delights.

The Pure Food Co was launched on the market last October “…to meet the needs and desires of tens of thousands of New Zealanders who experience difficulty chewing, swallowing or digesting food,” a release says.

Co-founders Sam and George Bridgewater along with Maia Royal say it provides cost-effective and convenient texture modified foods that can help people heal and thrive when they are at their most vulnerable and in need of nourishment.

The Pure Food Co co-founder Sam Bridgewater says the three consulted chefs, food technologists, and healthcare experts including dieticians, doctors, dentists and speech language therapists during the development phase.

“Our research convinced us that if texture modified food was nutritious, delicious and easy, the quality of life for the many New Zealanders with eating difficulties would be significantly improved.”

The scheme was developed over an 18-month period, with the help of two Callaghan Innovation Grants to “…achieve optimal flavour, nutrition and texture, especially for people with eating difficulties,” the release says.

Bridgewater says the result is a range of effortless, nourishing and delicious meals – including golden roast chicken, smoked barbecue pork and creamy fish pie – which are being delivered nationwide to hundreds of individuals and care providers, including aged-care.

“We’ve had heart-warming feedback from a number of New Zealanders who have enjoyed Pure Food, with some stabilising and putting on weight and others simply enjoying food again,” he says.

The business was initially founded by brothers Sam and George Bridgewater, with business partner Maia Royal, after the brothers watched a family member’s illness make it impossible to eat conventional food, requiring a radically modified diet, Bridgewater says.

“Our stepfather was recovering from mouth cancer and faced eating difficulties and challenges. The eating experience was far from ideal, with delicious, nutritious meal options seriously limited. This created another unnecessary level of stress at a time when there was already a lot going on.

He says his research revealed “…the eating experience for far too many people was far from ideal. They were forced to consume unappealing purées, resorting to baby food, or most worryingly, simply giving up and no longer eating at all.”

The founders say they will continue to push boundaries, with fresh tastes and new textures in development, which will be set to roll out in the coming months.

Image: Pure Food Co founders, Maia Royal, Sam Bridgewater, George Bridgewater