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"I jumped on board with IDDSI because I’ve always believed it would reduce errors in the food served to people."

John Holahan

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  • Writer's pictureJohn Holahan

Drinking The Drinks They Want

One of the reasons I chose xanthan gum as the thickening agent for SimplyThick back in 2001 is that it is the most flexible food-grade thickening agent.  It gets used in a very wide variety of foods.  Read some packaging labels and you will find it in many different types of foods.  And the reason is quite simple from a technology standpoint:  xanthan gum is a very efficient thickener under the conditions that are present in foods.

So why does it matter for dysphagia patients?  Simple.  Xanthan gum thickens more beverages more consistently than any other thickening agent.  Patients crave variety.  And patients crave certain drinks at certain times.  Simply put, they want to drink what they want when they want. 

Let me illustrate with a story that I heard around the office.  One day, we were talking with a person that was lamenting the impact of dysphagia on his relationship with his relative.  They had always been able to sit, talk and enjoy a whiskey together.  It was an important part of their relationship.  But with diagnosed dysphagia and the need for thickened liquids, he was sad that they would not be able to sit and enjoy their weekly drink together any longer.  Neither of them knew that SimplyThick® EasyMix™ would thicken ice cubes, let alone whiskey. We told him to try SimplyThick® EasyMix™ and he was so happy to be able to once again share that time with his relative.  SimplyThick® EasyMix™ made the difference in both their lives!

If you give people the chance to drink what they want to drink, they will drink more and will have the chance to spend time together in the ways that are familiar and valuable to them and their loved ones.  It just makes sense. 

I took some time and put together a video to show you how to make a fancy whiskey on the rocks. Cheers!



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