Thickening for dysphagia

Xanthan-based thickening innovations

Thick-It® brand of dysphagia nutrition solutions is expanding its line of proprietary xanthan-based thickening innovations with the introduction of a powder, allowing for greater bioavailability of thickened medications and supplements.

Nearly 18 million people in the U.S. live with dysphagia. Adhering to a thickened diet is a challenge for many, creating a cascade of negative side effects, ranging from malnutrition to choking and aspiration. The poor health and hospitalizations resulting from consuming thin liquids greatly diminish the quality of life for these individuals.

“Our xanthan powder is designed for better absorption of medications and supplements than other xanthan-based thickening powders,” explained Doug Stetzer, Kent Precision Foods Group Chief Scientist and developer of the proprietary xanthan formula used in the Clear AdvantageTM products.

The new powder is the first introduction of Thick-It’s Clear Advantage line to the market—a line which will soon include all of the brand’s xanthan-based thickening products. Its pre-thickened product suite includes juices, tea and the only clear and flavor-free water on the market, ideal as the base of many recipes or as a ‘tall glass of water’ that so many with swallowing disorders miss.

“This Clear Advantage launch reflects our commitment to delivering innovation for people with dysphagia,” said Megan Watts, brand marketing manager for Personal Nutritional Solutions at Kent Precision Foods Group. “Our hope is to raise awareness of the impact dysphagia has on the everyday lives of those with the disease, and to encourage higher standards for palatability and versatility in products across the industry, ultimately improving patient compliance and quality of life.”

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Thick-It has consistently delivered new dysphagia nutrition products using xanthan gum, seeking to educate the public on the benefits of xanthan as a thickening agent, such as:

  • Xanthan’s viscosity remains stable across various temperatures and pH levels, even when frozen and thawed.
  • Xanthan is amylase resistant, meaning that saliva does not alter the viscosity of xanthan-based thickeners.
  • Xanthan is clear when mixed with water, and has no flavor.
  • Xanthan’s texture is smooth.

For more information on Thick-It’s products and on how to place an order, visit thickit.com. You can also follow Thick-It on Facebook at Facebook.com/ThickIt and on Twitter at @ThickIt_PFI. To learn more about Dysphagia Awareness Month, visit swallowingdisorderfoundation.com/awareness.


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Ria Van Hoef