Are We Better Growing Old With New Food Technology?
Metaphorically speaking, food technology follows a path of out with the old and in with the new. In the not so distant future, soft drink and candy companies, will be altering their recipes. Robots may give farmers an extra hand. Not to be outdone, 3D printed meats could feed the elderly. Take a look below at the woks of life food technology is changing, for better or worse.
Will we miss sugar?
You may have heard diabetes and other health issues continue to escalate. So too is the public’s demand for more natural tasting products. Companies have their work cut out to remove unnecessary ingredients. It’s not going to be an easy sell. Turns out, we really like too much sugar. In fact, studies confirm it. They point out that incrementally over the years we’ve become desensitized to the amount of sugar in average foods, actually craving more of it. We’re at the point that tomato and bbq sauces contain as much sugar as doughnuts or chocolate chip cookies. Where’s that elusive bliss point? It’s going to be a challenge for companies to come up with recipes that have less of something that people desire more.
With these two ideologies at odds, how will companies satisfy the growing number of health conscientious consumers? Nestle and Coke are two examples of companies looking to make the old new again. They are both motivated to not only maintain their existing customer base but also to entice new consumers as well. Coke used their Coke Zero product to develop a new Coca Cola No Sugar recipe. Meanwhile, Nestle is claiming their new recipe that reduces sugar levels by 40% will not sacrifice taste.
Farming Gets A Mechanical Hand
Meanwhile, farming, one of the world’s ‘slowest growing’ industry up until now has remained unfazed by food technology’s evolution. Seeds grow on their own time table and it’s difficult to influence the process. However, the modern world may intervene in this aspect of life as well. Energid Technologies of Cambridge MA has designed a robotic machine to assist orange grove growers. It sits in the back of a truck and is capable of harvesting produce at a 10x faster rate. In fact, the only caveat is the vehicle still needs a driver. Who knows, automated farm vehicles might be on the horizon as well?
Baby Food vs. Printed Food?
Food technology has applications to improve quality of life for all ages. Meat and Livestock (MLA) researches ways to create food using additive manufacturing. In Germany, nursing homes are using 3D printers to make meat inks. Apparently, these printed morsels have legs. They’re both more nutritious and better tasting than the pureed baby food the residents usually eat. In fact, over 1000 nursing homes employ this technique, providing the elderly with appetizing meal choices. Another benefit? The meals cater to individual specific dietary restrictions.
Food technology has a wide range of capabilities. It works to create new recipes and update previous processes. Even though our world is in a constant flux, like it or not, the changes we make influence our lives and our environment. This applies to food technology too. For better or worse, all we can hope for is that we make things better. For the most part we seem to do a decent job.