According to The Asahi Shimbun, when Megumi Ogawa served meals designed for patients with a swallowing disorder to her father, he would refuse to eat and become grumpy.
“Food was a source of joy left for my dad, who could not move his body,” said Ogawa, 49. “He loved beef but could not consume it. I wanted to do something for him.”
So, Ogawa, who works at Panasonic Corp., sought the advice of a senior official she worked with at the company's plant in the Kansai region.
The official, Tokie Mizuno, quickly agreed that they should create a new home cooker for individuals troubled by the same problem.
Many food products targeting patients who have difficulty swallowing have been released to offer a greater variety of tastes and materials, but they can't be compared with their homemade counterparts.
“My grandmother lived to be 116, but always stuck to homemade dishes and had food my mother cooked until her last moment,” said Mizuno, 55. “Many people want to continue consuming meals made at home.”
As the two women had no experience in product development, they dedicated themselves to researching microwave ovens and pressure cookers at a meeting room in the plant. Their goal was to make a product that would soften food while maintaining its shape.
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