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Food tech trends in focus – digital magazine

The future of food seems to depend on things that are exceedingly small. Microorganisms are being used in various applications across the food industry, including extending the shelf life of perishable foods, improving food safety, and creating fascinating new ingredients. Israel is leading the way in cultivated meat technology and development based on microscopic processes, while packaging may get a serious recycling upgrade with a new classification system. These changes and more will all be front and center at some of the leading food and beverage confabs planned for 2024.

December 1, 2023

4 Min Read
Food tech trends in focus

Miracles are happening under the microscope for the food and beverage sector, and the future is more promising because of it. For example, new technology is utilizing prebiotics to increase the shelf life of fresh produce by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. Bacteriophages, or viruses that can kill specific bacteria, are reducing pathogens in food processing environments. And innovators are employing a new method for producing allulose, a natural sweetener, using microorganisms. The process is more efficient and cost-effective than traditional methods, which could lead to wider adoption of allulose as a sugar substitute.

When it comes to cultivated meat technology and development, Israel is a surprise leader in the category. Prominent companies there are creatively mimicking meat muscle and fat, growing cultivated meat in imaginative ways, and using artificial intelligence (AI) to discover new nutritional bioactive ingredients.

There are also big changes planned in the way packaging is recycled, and new strategies for utilizing renewable materials, along with fresh plans for intuitive food labeling. All that and more can be discovered by downloading this free digital magazine. The articles include:

Viewpoint: Food tech – Never predictable, but always evolving

In a year marked by economic uncertainty, civil unrest and political chaos, one thing is certain: Innovation will continue in a quest to feed a growing global population. From greater adoption of regenerative agriculture or using artificial intelligence (AI) to develop mindful, sustainable and appealing products, F&B innovators left no stone unturned, as Content Director Audarshia Townsend explains.

Reaping rewards from microorganisms

Biotechnology is being employed by food scientists to unlock the amazing potential of beneficial bacteria across multiple uses, including food preservation, reducing pathogens in processing environments, and the development of the next generation of food ingredients. Cindy Hazen details how LiVa Bio-Protection Technologies Ltd. is tapping into the potential benefits of prebiotics in a new way—via food packaging—and also explains how innovator Intralytix produces bacteriophages that are approved for use as food additives.

Israeli-based companies pioneer new frontiers in food tech

After the United States, Israel is considered No. 2 in food and beverage innovation. The country’s diminutive size, however, hardly holds it back from leading when it comes to cultivated meat technology and development, along with pioneering new sources of nutritional components. Industry veteran James Gormley looks at the example of Haifa-based Ever After Foods, a company growing adherent stem cells, which are natural cells capable of creating different tissues such as muscle and fat, and also Kiryat Shemona-based BioBetter, who is combining growth factors with tobacco plants that serve as self-sustained, animal-free bioreactors to grow cultivated meat at increasing scale.

US labeling proposal shapes a future in which recycling is truly simplified

Consumers may one day be able to tell at a glance whether plastic packaging is actually recyclable, if a proposed new labeling recommendation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comes to fruition. Also, new labeling by FDA to better help shoppers define and identify health-forward products may be in the offing. Mindy Kolof considers some of the reasons behind the fact that less than 6% of plastics in the U.S. are being recycled, and what’s in store to substantially increase that number.

Preview calendar: Where to engage in the evolving landscape of food and beverage in 2024

The changing landscape of food and beverage will continue to take center stage at many get-togethers across the globe in the coming year, offering opportunities to find inspiration; gain a competitive edge; and forge strategic alliances to drive positive change, equity and sustainability. Quayla Allen provides the specifics about Future Food Tech in San Francisco; the Food 4 Future World Summit in Bilboa, Spain; the Food Safety Summit in Rosemont, Illinois; the Food Improved by Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Expo in Chicago; New Hope’s Newtopia Now in Savannah, Georgia; and SupplySide West/Food ingredients North America in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What’s next for sustainability?

Eco-conscious brands like Path, Wild Planet and Mananalu are stepping up to offer increasingly sustainable products and solutions, including opting for reusable packaging formats, supporting ocean biodiversity or paying attention to greenhouse gas emissions, and shifting toward co-packing facilities that are powered by renewable energy. Melissa Kvidahl Reilly interviews the experts who are pushing the envelope when it comes to the next generation of renewable and recyclable technologies in use in the most sustainable companies producing consumer packaged goods.

Examples of food tech trends takeaways for your business include:

  • Microbes are used today in large-scale industrial processes to produce important metabolites such as enzymes, vitamins, acids and solvents.

  • The prohibitively risky, costly and lengthy product development cycle—coupled with increasing regulatory requirements calling for sustainable products with a lower environmental footprint—has led to a reduction in the number of new product introductions.

  • Europe has successfully implemented front-of-package (FOP) labeling with a nutritional score of A to D to simplify consumer decision-making when it comes to food and beverage purchases.

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