The constant demand for food which is fresher, more convenient, more flavoursome and more nutritious will mean an increase in the use of technology in food preparation in the future, according to the January issue of Food Technology, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.
The predictions of IFT members suggest that food manufacturers will be increasingly forced to bow to consumer demands. Daren P. Cornforth of the IFT's Muscle Foods Division said he expected to see improvements in processes to further reduce microbes on raw meats, including new traceability procedures.
Margaret J. Hinds of the Product Development Division said that new products would focus on convenience foods, nutraceutical and functional foods, with products targeted for consumers in specific age categories. "Exotic flavours will attract mature consumers, a wider variety of ethnic foods will be produced, and easy to prepare meals for the elderly and kids-on-the-go will become popular," she said in the report.
Pioneering work on mapping the human genome has opened up new opportunities for the creation of foods which have a more nutritious effect, said Bruce A. Watkins of the IFT Nutrition Division. "Research on the interaction between nutrients and the body's genes will have tremendous potential for disease prevention and future health development. New food products will target cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis."
Longer shelf-life and enhanced functional benefits will play an important role in the dairy market, according to Valente B. Alvarez of the Dairy Division.
All the IFT members who contributed to the article said they thought that biosecurity would have a significant impact on future food production and supply, corresponding with increasing concerns over terrorism.