Batchelors fortifies soups to help healthcare & care caterers serve up vital vitamins

Premier Foods' brand Batchelors has fortified its new soups for the health care and care sector – easy to make, they’re the first dried soups on the market fortified with vitamins A and D.

Research shows that 38% of men and 37% of women living in care homes have low blood levels of vitamin D, so are at risk of being deficient[1]. In addition, the NHS advises a 10mcg daily supplement of vitamin D for elderly people who are frail, housebound or living in care homes.

Recognising the need for caterers in these sectors to serve up key vitamins in an easy and consistent way, Batchelors has fortified four of its most popular dried soups with vitamins A and D.

Comprising Creamy Chicken, Thick Vegetable, Creamy Mushroom and Creamy Tomato, Batchelors’ newly fortified soups are low in sugar and contain no added colours or preservatives. Caterers can easily adapt them to different needs - bolstering them with ingredients to add extra calories or protein - while retaining their much-loved taste and texture.

Juliette Kellow, Independent Registered Dietitian, said, “Vitamin D has many vital functions in our bodies. It’s essential for a well-functioning immune system and contributes to normal muscle function. It also helps to maintain our bones and teeth, aiding the absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus.

“Dubbed the sunshine vitamin, we make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight in spring and summer. However, our ability to do this seems to decrease as we get older. In addition, reduced liver or kidney function can impair our ability to make this nutrient. As a result, residents in care homes who stay indoors most of the time tend to be more reliant on getting vitamin D from food and supplements.'

Juliette continued, “Earlier this year, the UK government launched a consultation on improving the vitamin D status of people living in England, and one of the areas being looked at is increasing vitamin D through diet, including fortified foods and biofortification.

'This is hardly surprising as only a few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D. These include eggs and oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, pilchards and salmon. We’re seeing more foods being fortified with vitamin D as a result, and Batchelors soups are a good example, providing 1.5mcg of vitamin D in every 170ml serving.”

Juliette finsihed, “Vitamin A also has many important functions, including maintaining normal skin, vision and immune function. Ageing affects all these parts of our body so it’s vital elderly people get sufficient amounts of this vitamin as part of a balanced, healthy diet that supports their health and wellbeing.”

Sarah Robb, MCIM, Foodservice Marketing Manager, Premier Foods, said, 'It’s challenging, making sure that the older generation in long-term care get the nutrients they need.

'Appetites often dwindle, alongside smell and taste, and we’re more likely to get dehydrated as we age. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that around a third of residents in care homes are malnourished.

“Good nutrition is vital, and we want to help by enriching lives through food. One way we can support the healthcare and care sectors is by fortifying our products to assist caterers and chefs.'

Sarah closed, “By adding nutrients that are particularly difficult for caterers to incorporate in their meals – such as vitamin D and A – our aim is to help caterers serve residents their daily nutrients in an easy, consistent, tasty way.”