Texture-modified foods and thickened fluids used in dysphagia: Israeli standardised terminology and definitions

M. Icht, O. Bergerzon-Bitton, J. Kachal, R. Goldsmith, O. Herzberg, R. Endevelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Texture-modified foods and thickened fluids are used as a strategy that aims to compensate for dysphagia and improve the safety and efficiency of swallowing. Currently, in Israel, there are no standardised terminologies and definitions for texture-modified diets. The inconsistent terminology adversely affects patient safety and the efficiency of communication between staff members both within and between health institutions. This present study describes a project of the Israeli Ministry of Health in which the labels and definitions of prevalent foods and fluids used in health institutions are mapped to develop a consensus on national standards. Methods: A multidisciplinary committee of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and registered dietitians (RDs) was appointed. A questionnaire was developed to identify the labels of texture-modified foods and fluids used in the Israeli healthcare system. The questionnaire included questions on knowledge, attitudes and barriers related to the need for a consistent national terminology for texture-modified diets. Questionnaires were sent to 120 institutions. The project was conducted between September 2016 and December 2017. Results: Twenty-six SLPs and 42 RDs responded. The answers revealed that there were 50 labels in use for texture-modified foods. When asked to describe the texture of a particular food item, up to 17 different labels were used. There was broad support for a standardised terminology. Conclusions: The results of the present study confirm the lack of national standards in clinical practice and the need for a consistent terminology. A consensus was achieved between the committee members and the committee adopted the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI) recommendations and adapted the terminology to Hebrew.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-746
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • dysphagia
  • food and fluid standards
  • standardised terminology
  • texture-modified diet


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