Tastes can change, outcomes shouldn't

Addressing taste changes in patients with cancer with sensational flavours 

Up to 70% of patients with cancer experience taste alterations1. This represents a high burden for patients with significant impact on patients' quality of life2.


Taste changes can contribute to malnutrition3-5, an important predictor of mortality, reduced tolerance to anti-cancer treatments and impaired quality of life6,7. Identifying and treating early signs of malnutrition with medical nutrition can improve outcomes in patients with cancer8-12.


Sensory alterations may include hypo- or hypersensitivity to taste or smells, or distortion of taste (dysgeusia)14,15. To compensate for taste changes, often patients describe the need for more intense taste stimuli by deliberately adding more spices, salt and ginger to their meals helping stimulate a sensory response; while others describe a need for less intense flavors4,16.

The trigeminal system17,18

The trigeminal somatosensory system plays a fundamental role in chemosensation and the overall “flavor” of foods

The trigeminal system is physiologically distinct from taste and smell, but is increasingly understood to be just as important as these senses for their contribution to flavor


Temperature and many chemical agents can stimulate chemo sensitive channels directly

As an example, hot chili pepper and menthol sensitizes the perception of temperature

FORTIMEL COMPACT PROTEIN includes a sensational range of five tailor-made flavors designed to support cancer patients with or at risk of malnutrition, struggling with sensory alterations.

Cool Red Fruits
Cool Cucumber Lime
Cool Coconut
Hot Tropical Ginger
% of cancer patients that liked these flavours21,22
  • Cool Red Fruits
  • Cool Coconut and
  • Cool Cucumber Lime
  • Neutral
  • Hot Tropical Ginger

Contain specific menthol derivatives, which can activate the trigeminal nerve19. The Cool sensational flavors are particularly well-suited to patients who have a bad taste in their mouth, as menthol derivatives give a “fresh” taste.

Designed without additional sensory stimuli. It is particularly well-suited for patients who are hypersensitive to taste or smell and for patients with a metallic taste in the mouth.

Contains derivatives of hot chili pepper, which can also activate the trigeminal nerve20. This flavor is particularly well-suited for patients who find that everything is bland or tasteless, as the hot pepper and ginger flavours add interest via a “warm” taste.

Optimising the palatability and acceptability of ONS is important to support patient adherence to oral nutritional supplements. Compact protein sensational flavours have been demonstrated to be appreciated in cancer patients undergoing cancer treatments21,22.

How does Fortimel Compact Protein Address Taste Change

Fortimel Compact Protein includes a sensational range of five tailor-made flavors designed to support cancer patients struggling with sensory alterations.

  1. Spotten et al. Ann Oncol 2017; 28:969-84
  2. Alvarez-Camacho et al. Qual Life Res 2016; 25:1495-504
  3. Brisbois et al. J Pain Symptom Manage 2011;41:673-83
  4. Boltong et al. Support Care Cancer 2012; 20:2765-74
  5. Belqaid et al. Acta Oncol 2014; 53:1405-12
  6. Ryan et al. Nutrition 2019; 67-68:110539
  7. Bozzetti et al. Ann Oncol 2017; 28(9):2107-2118
  8. Arends et al. Clin Nutr 2017; 6(1):11-48
  9. Arends et al. ESMO Open 2021; 6(3):100092
  10.  Kabata et al. Support Care Cancer 2015; 23(2):365-70
  11.  Manásek et al. Klin Onkol 2016; 29(5):351-357
  12.  Garcia et al. Nutr Cancer 2020; 72(5):801-807
  13.  Quotes from social listening study (2017 Sensory Platform Danone Nutricia Research)
  14.  Drareni et al. Semin Oncol 2019; 46:160-72
  15.  Hummel et al. GMS Curr Top Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2011; 10:Doc04
  16.  de Vries et al. Support Care Cancer 2016; 24:3119-26
  17.  Viana Chemosensory properties of the trigeminal system. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2011; 2(1):38-50
  18.  Green et al. Chemesthesis: Chemical Touch in Food and Eating. John Wiley & Sons 2016
  19.  TRP Ion Channel Function in Sensory Transduction and Cellular Signaling Cascades Book 
  20.  Tominaga et al. Molecular Mechanisms of Trigeminal Nociception and Sensation of Pungency 2005
  21.  de Haan et al. Support Care Cancer 2021; 29:5691-9
  22.  Internal sensory study, Data on file 2021
  23.  Laviano et al. Proc Nutr Soc 2018; 77(4):388-393
  24.  Pressoir et al.  Br J Cancer  2010, 102 (6), 966-71
  25.  Daly et al. Cancer 2020; 126 (12), 2872-82
  26.  Prado et al. Canadian journal of dietetic practice and research 2012; 73(4):e298-303
  27.  McCurdy et al. Nutrients 2019; 11(11)
  28.  Stobaus et al. Nutr Cancer 2015; 67(5):818-24
  29.  Tobberup et al. Clin Nutr ESPEN 2019; 34:94-100
  30.  Capitao et al. Support care cancer 2022; 30(4):3007-3015
  31.  Regueme et al. Support Care Cancer 2021; 29(2):687-696
  32.  Hasegawa et al. 2021 Clin Nutr 2021; 40(7):4792-4798
  33.  Kabata et al. Supportive Care in Cancer 2014; 23, 365-370
  34.  Cereda et al. Radiother Oncol 2018; 126(1):81-88
  35.  Grupinska et al. Nutrients 2021; 13, 3549
  36.  Meng et al. Clin Nutr 2021; 40(1):40-46

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