The Enteral Nutrition Therapy (ENT) has been widely used in hospital and home care assistance. However, research works are needed to make this technique more efficient and cheaper.
Objective: Evaluate the nutritional quality of handmade enteral diets used in a charity hospital in the Jequitinhonha Valley, Brazil, and propose qualitative and quantitative adjustments, when necessary, and compare the data available in tables of chemical composition of foods with the data achieved by laboratory analyses.
Materials and methods: The study was carried out in partnership with a charity organization of the region and the Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, where the collection of the handmade enteral diets was performed. The analyses of the physical-chemical and centesimal composition of 36 samples of diets were carried out in the laboratories of the university.
Results: It was observed that the daily energy offer of the diets was below the recommended standards and presented a percentage distribution different from that estimated for patients receiving ENT. Besides, it can be seen that the nutrient values of the data achieved in laboratory do not agree with those available in tables of food chemical composition.
Conclusions: Significant losses of nutrients were verified during the processing and preparation of handmade enteral diets. It challenges nutritionists to standardize these diets and corroborates the relevance of new studies to determine the nutritional content of handmade enteral diets, since these diets have been widely used in poor regions of Brazil and in other countries.