Catharina Hospital organizes taste test for chemo patients

Image- Studio040 Pien Wolters

Hardly taste anything or feel nauseous when you smell food? These are some of the side effects that chemotherapy patients have to contend with. In August and September, these people can go to the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven for a free taste test to find out what they like.

The taste test of the Catharina Cancer Institute is part of a national study that started at the end of July. The aim of the tasting is to find out what patients do like after chemotherapy. Because, according to the hospital, having a reduced appetite can have consequences on the recovery and the quality of life of the patients.

Loss of taste

After chemotherapy, some patients notice that their taste is affected. They hardly taste anything, they taste something very strongly or they get nauseous when they smell food. In some cases, they may experience a lingering metallic or cardboard taste.

Patients affected by this will receive a free taste test that approximately takes an hour. During that tasting it is determined what someone likes and what doesn’t. 

“The results of this test are extensively discussed with the participants in the study. They also remain in contact with a chef afterwards, so that, thanks to good coaching, they can get to work with the ingredients themselves,” explains chef Wilko Lichteveld; who is one of the supervisors of this research. “We know that a personal approach is important. So far we have not been able to use the same prescription for any two patients. It’s all custom work. It’s great to see someone relishing food again.”


People who have had chemotherapy and want to participate in the study can do so by sending an email to 


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