The Swallow Solutions staff continues to grow, and our newest member is Senior Food Scientist Heather Mendenhall. With her in-depth knowledge of thickening fluids and rheology, which is the study of how liquids and soft solids flow, Mendenhall will be working to develop fluids as safe and appealing beverages in the treatment of dysphagia.
“To achieve proper hydration, people with dysphagia oftentimes require thickened fluids to keep them from aspirating the liquid,” she explains. In her role with Swallow Solutions, Mendenhall will develop these fluids to improve the lives of people suffering from dysphagia, leading them to a higher quality of life.
The addition of Mendenhall marks the official expansion of Swallow Solutions with the creation of the Fluid Division. “Our goal is to improve upon the beverages that are already in the marketplace,” explains Robert Carlson, MD, CEO of Swallow Solutions. “Expansion into this area will be fueled by Heather’s expertise and scientific guidance.”
“Many of the available thickened fluids for dysphagic patients are less than ideal,” Mendenhall says. “We are developing enjoyable, ready-to-drink beverages that are biophysically designed for safe swallowing. Something refreshing, appealing and hydrating.”
She became interested in food science after she earned her Bachelor’s degree at North Carolina State University. Mendenhall completed a Master’s Degree in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she connected with the Swallow Solutions Team.