Over the past couple of years, many food enthusiasts have shifted their views around food. In the past, convenience was among the biggest factors. It mattered to consumers how fast entire meals could be prepared from the kitchen to the table. Speed usually came at the expense of nutrition.
This is no longer the case. Now, people are more concerned about how their diet plays into their overall health. Everything from the supply, preparation to the ingredients has to be clean and wholesome. The outbreak of the global pandemic played a significant role in this shift as well.
Food and Technology
Integrating the use of various technologies to create healthier food is nothing new in the industry. These have helped professional chefs and amateur cooks alike with their own preparations and creations. However, the current circumstances have spurred an increase in demand for innovation.
In the coming year, many consumers are definitely expected to make improvements to their own diets. How technologies will help to make this a reality will also be significant. Whether you are a home cook or an established restaurateur, here are the most relevant food technology trends to look out for.
Crunching the Numbers
Food and health awareness goes beyond the usual notions of food safety and quality. Many experts believe that data and traceability of food will also have a huge part to play in food technology in the coming years.
It will be essential for people to keep an eye on the supply chain of ingredients. Having legitimate access to specific kinds of information will impact how people will prepare and appreciate food in general.
The prices that wholesalers pay farmers for their crops. The abundance of produce and harvest. Effective and precise monitoring of perishable products with data logging technology for temperatures. These are just some of the many instances that consumers will want to keep track of.
Wider Range of Alternatives
There are already plenty of alternative meats and plant-based protein options in different markets at present. It’s been estimated that these products’ sales will grow up to 28% per year, ultimately leading to $85 B in 2030.
Various companies are now looking towards investing a lot of capital in cell-based proteins. Cell-based refers to bio-manufacturing proteins for animals to better cultivate them for the human market. The primary objective is to allow animals to have premium nutrition for consumption.
Currently, plant-based and alternative products will surely dominate consumer preference. Cell-based products will still need more tools and research to become industrialized. Nonetheless, these products will be able to provide consumers with more alternatives going forward.
It’s a guarantee that food and health are intertwined. While the circumstances of the global pandemic disrupted multiple industries, food included, it has also driven the food-as-medicine movement forward. Countless technologies can be related to this initiative.
There’s the use of mobile apps to act as artificial intelligence nutrition coaches. Tailoring supplement intake to improve an individual microbiome. Discovering new nutrients and bioprocessing methods that will be beneficial for health. Helping farmers create more biodiverse plantations. The range of technological innovations for food-as-medicine is expansive.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
Another unfortunate reality that made itself known alongside the global pandemic was the threat of a climate crisis. The frequency and intensity of natural calamities are substantially increasing every year. Surprising as it might sound, the food industry actually accounts for 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Livestock agriculture is the biggest contributor to these emissions in line with the food industry. Fortunately, there are lots of emerging technologies to help curb the carbon footprint of the farmers. There are methane-inhibiting feed additives to reduce the methane production of animals.
The biggest problem, however, lies in the complexity of how these practices can be adapted. For many, it can also come at the cost of making less profit. Creating a more sustainable yet economically-friendly avenue for this should be a primary focus.
The global pandemic made people realize the importance of staying healthy above all else. While drastic changes in food and nutrition are taking place, people have also become more aware of the innovative technology that goes into how food is produced.
They have become more concerned about what’s going into their bodies. Developments in food technology don’t just necessarily make production and preparation more efficient. It can also serve to improve the nutritional benefits of various products. Of course, this doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges. Regardless, as technology in food advances, better health will surely follow.