Innovative solution for NZers with eating difficulties Health Feature

No one should miss out on delicious, nourishing food – especially when they are recovering from an illness, injury or have age-related causes that make it hard to eat. That’s the vision of three kiwi entrepreneurs who have joined forces to create an innovative solution in texture modified food.

The Pure Food Co launched to market in October 2014 to meet the needs and desires of the tens of thousands of New Zealanders who experience difficulty chewing, swallowing or digesting food.

It provides cost-effective and convenient texture modified foods that can help people heal and thrive when they are at their most vulnerable and are in need of the best nourishment.

The Pure Food Co was 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.

“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,” says co-founder of The Pure Food Co Sam Bridgewater.

Chefs, food technologists, and healthcare experts – dietitians, doctors, dentists and speech language therapists – were all consulted 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.” says Sam.

Pure Food was developed over an 18 month period, with the assistance of two Callaghan Innovation Grants, to achieve optimal flavour, nutrition and texture, especially for people with eating difficulties.

The result is a range a fresh, effortless, nourishing and delicious meals – including golden roast chicken, smoked barbeque 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,” adds Sam.

The Pure Food Co is establishing itself as the leading specialist in texture modified food in New Zealand and will continue to push boundaries with fresh tastes and new textures in development and set to roll out in coming months.