The surging rate of the world’s population is raising serious concerns over food security. But thanks to technology, we can now track, analyze, and understand the way our food system works. But that is not all that this technology can do in the food industry. In recent times, the food industry has witnessed several innovations in food technology that was unimaginable a decade or two back. Today, consumers are more concerned about the dining experience, the safety, and health aspects, and easier and faster access to food. Advancements in food technology have the ability to fulfill this and much more for the players in the food industry Here are four trends and innovations in food technology that is all set to change the way we eat:
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
As far as food technology is concerned, the biotechnology used to create genetically modified organisms (GMO) is critical. GMOs are genetically engineered to have certain traits like herbicide resistance, pest resistance, and increased nutritional value. The first modified tomato, the Flavr Savr that was approved by the FDA and put on the market in 1994, led to the rapid development of other seeds, which resulted in one hundred million acres of land farmed with genetically engineered crops by the year 1999. Currently, several crops that are genetically modified to grow in habitats besides their native ones are in development, which would result in increased yield productivity to feed more people. Poultry, fish, and beef are also often modified to increase the quantity of meat by quickening the rate of growth of an animal or by adding proteins or other nutrients to the meat.
You must be familiar with 3D printing in the healthcare and transportation industry, and now this technology is slowly paving the way for itself in the food industry. 3D printing has been widely accepted as a food technology for printing sugar candy and chocolates. Modern Meadow, a startup is trying to save cows and reduce carbon emissions by creating meatless meat. Another popular example is of NASA using a 3D printer to make pizza, which could be a step forward for astronauts’ meal in space.
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The news of drones being used for food delivery has been doing the rounds for quite some time. But now, players in the food industry are looking at ways drones can be used for food production. Since farms often span vast distances, it often becomes difficult for farmers to monitor the productivity of the area individually. Drones are slowly becoming a part of food technology with which farmers can precisely locate where a diseased or damaged plant and accurately release fertilizers and pesticides.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Sensors are and will continue to be an integral part of food technology. IoT is already being used for farming in the form of irrigation technologies and crop yield monitoring technologies. Additionally, with the help of sensors in grain bins, farmers can monitor the temperature and moisture levels remotely. IoT is also being used on farms in the form of Z-trap, a device used to control insects and analyze data on crops remotely using GPS coordinates and wireless sensors. The base station is designed to target certain destructive bug species, but the tool has its own communication network between all the traps on a specific field and uploads the data to a cloud.