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P.PSH.1282 - Independent Ageing - New Read Meat Meal Opportunities

Residents in aged care suffer from a high level of malnutrition, with possibly the majority (+60%) of them being malnourished.

Project start date: 28 December 2020
Project end date: 01 June 2024
Publication date: 24 April 2024
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grain-fed Cattle, Grass-fed Cattle, Sheep, Goat, Lamb
Relevant regions: National
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Food is critical in the aged care system and remains a common cause of complaint in aged care settings. There is overwhelming evidence that the majority (60+%) of aged care residents are malnourished suffering subsequent weight loss and health issues. Not only that, weight loss and malnutrition often precede and even accelerate entry into residential aged care.

This project will use proof of concept to determine the acceptability of freeze-dried red meat ready-made meals (RMRMM) to support the aged care industry. Red meat is an excellent source of protein (an 85gram steak contains 29grams of protein) and is an essential nutrient for the elderly.


The objectives of the project were:

- Create two novel red meat readymade meals (RMRMM) and two vitamised puree meals utilising beef and lamb meat to managed protein energy deficits in aged care.

- To determine if the RMRMMs can be incorporated into the daily systems in residential aged care foodservices.

- Validate the commercial opportunity for the RMRMMs in aged care and determine the acceptance among stakeholders.

- Report on the health benefits and social impact created by utilising the RMRMMs in everyday meal plans.

Key findings

The first three objectives were achieved. Whilst the feedback on the RMRMMs themselves were good – they tasted good, were convenient to use and the nutrition was great – it became clear that the decision makers prioritised budget restrictions over nutrition. However, a bigger opportunity was identified within targeted nutrition.

Benefits to industry

If these products are instead launched as convenience products within the targeted nutrition market, it will lead to an increase in sales for the red meat industry.

MLA action

The RMRMMs are an exciting product as a healthy convenience meal where consumers are willing to pay a premium for high quality nutrition. In particular if they are fortified with certified organic collagen, as this is a completely novel and innovative new product. It is recommended that any future research target this market segment instead.

Future research

It is recommended that future research focuses on the products as a convenience meal for targeted nutrition rather than aged care due to an inhibitive cost.

More information

Project manager: John Marten
Contact email:
Primary researcher: Freeze Dry Industries Pty Ltd