VR, AI and osmosis? Innovation set to ask food industry searching questions

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

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Disruptive and emerging technology that may decide how the food industry interacts with consumers is asking big questions as to whether traditional foodmakers are prepared for this shift in opportunity.

The digital age, encompassing E-commerce, artificial intelligence and virtual reality (VR), has shaken the food chain model to favour agile start-ups with the knowhow to reboot old approaches and reach new audiences.

At Food Matters Live last month, delegates were treated to a demonstration of technology that looks to further streamline the food creation and production process in keeping with current consumer trends.

Issues of traceability, environmental preservation and tools to help the sick and elderly were a priority for those showcasing how their technology has future implications on not only the branding side of the industry but also the ingredients sector.

The disruptors

Nurita’s Neil Foster explained how his company was using big data and artificial intelligence to revise the way the way food is viewed and thought of.

The firm’s disruptive approach combines artificial intelligence and DNA analysis to data-mine billions of molecules providing access to health boosting bioactive peptides.

James Read, a proponent of virtual reality in food marketing and education also took to the stage to give his thoughts on its contributions to providing a multisensory experience to consumers.  

His digital agency company Giant Peach are experimenting with VR tech in a way similar to firms like Nescafe and Google, who have created a virtual reality coffee experience, allowing users to view coffee fields in Brazil via a mobile phone app and Google viewer.

Fabrice Gascons Viladomat, owner of Ederna was also on hand to describe the work he was doing in applying cold concentration technology to preserve sensory profile and bioactivity of food ingredients.

Harnessing a process known as engineered osmosis, Viladomat believes that ingredient manufacturers could reduce their energy costs whilst retaining high levels of flavour, aroma, colour and molecular activity of antioxidants and vitamins.

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