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Thickeners are used to modify the consistency of foods and beverages to help support a safer swallow for individuals with dysphagia. Thickeners increase the viscosity of fluids to help slow oral transit and provide more time to control movement to reduce the risk of bolus penetration and aspiration. The amount of thickener used, determines the consistency of foods and beverages. Consistency levels range from slightly thick to extremely thick for liquids, catering to various conditions causing swallowing impairment.

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The Role of Thickeners in Patient Care

Thickeners play an important role in patient care for individuals with dysphagia. When necessary, a healthcare professional such as a Speech Language Pathologist assesses and identifies a thickened liquid consistency and/or texture-modified foods that will help to reduce the risk of choking and aspiration. Without intervention, eating may become a daily challenge which makes it difficult to consume enough calories and fluid leading to malnutrition. The appropriate use of thickeners for modified-texture diets can support patients with dysphagia to achieve adequate hydration and nutrition status with the goal of reducing the risk of adverse health outcomes associated with dysphagia.

Nestlé Health Science offers thickening powders designed to address the needs of individuals with swallowing difficulties. These thickeners are specifically formulated to modify the viscosity of liquids to reach the desired consistency recommended by a health care professional to provide a safer swallow.

To learn more about consistency levels visit the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative at

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