INNOVATION IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY: CURRENT TRENDS

Welcome to the Amerex Blog! In this post we will talk about the current trends in the food industry. If you are engaged in product research and development in a company in the food sector surely you will want to know what technological innovation is currently leading and how you can apply it to your food.

We will also review what trends consumers demand, food minimally processed and containing no chemical additives in its composition, and how to respond to these technological challenges, biotechnology haspositioned itself as one of the fundamental tools in this new era of FoodTech.

Which is the origin of food innovation and where is it possible to innovate in the development of a food?

According to the definition of “Innovate”, this act consists of modifying a thing, in this case it could be a food, to introduce innovations that generally improve the above. These modifications can bring more quality to the product, more versatility or improve its use or functionality. Returning to the example of innovation in food, it would therefore be based on modifying these products to improve their nutritional and organoleptic quality, modifying the taste or color in order to make it more attractive to the consumer and also fundamental, to ensure the microbiological safety of the food.

These possibilities of innovation are not limited to modifying “the product”, there is also the possibility of innovating at the level of the production process , from making use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and robotics to digitize it and automate it or apply a new process such as fermentation (one of the trends that has been hitting hard this year).

In short, innovation in the food industry has been a process of constant evolution, which has impacted both the product itself and the manufacturing process and advertising surrounding it. In this regard, below we will see what changes in consumer behavior have been related to innovation in the agri-food sector, Is it the food industry that adapts to the needs of the consumer or is it the marketing of companies that create needs and new eating habits?

What changes in consumer behavior are related to food innovation?

In any sector there is always the debate about whether it is the companies, through their marketing and communication department, that create new needs in customers or whether on the contrary, companies are the ones adapting to the new trends demanded by consumers. It is not an easy question to answer and most likely there is no single answer, what is clear is that the fundamental objective of innovation will always be to offer a better product to the consumer and to stand out in some way against the competition.

Within any industry, and in the food industry in particular, the search for innovation is a constant that seeks to meet the needs of an increasingly informed consumer and demanding tegracies to access the internet and new technologies. Besides, in this new era referents who through social networks are capable to create new currents have emerged. A clear example of this is the whole debate generated around Carlos Ríos and his Realfooding movement. This with two of the clear examples that have been observed in the sector:

  • Concern for health: the pursuit of well-being by consumers is increasing, with the focus on products that not only favor their physical health but also their mental health, also closely related to the gut microbiota. We find on many labels claims as “allergen free” or “non-genetically modified“.
  • Social awareness and sustainability: more and more environmental awareness is a decisive factor when a person goes to choose a product. You are looking for the “Ecological” or everything related to a food trend that for some time has come to stay, such as veganism and all new Plant Based products that provide us a lot of examples of food innovation.
Use of probiotics as an innovation in the food sector

Faced with this new social awareness, it is quite clear that brands seek to adapt to what consumers demand by offering ideas for new food products with a very important focus on the ingredients used: that they are natural, healthy and sustainable. Many brands have also taken advantage of this new way of understanding food to associate these leads to their products and empower them. But how have they managed to develop new products and adapt to this new technological innovation demanded by customers?  

What new technologies are revolutionizing the agri-food sector?

Lately we have seen numerous news about disruptive innovations that can revolutionize the sector: create food with different shapes and ingredients as we want thanks to 3D printers, new methods of monitoring the state of food through smart packaging and different detectors, the rise of proteins obtained from different origins, such as algae, to meet the demand for plant based products etc.

All these projects and food products seek to meet the needs mentioned above, but are they profitable today? For our part, we would like to highlight innovative and truly effective existing technologies, which are shaking the food market.

  • Use of microbiological cultures to replace chemical additives. Ripening starters, lactic acid bacteria… they’re known in different ways. What is clear is that the use of this microbial technology thanks to biotechnology is more than tested and new beneficial are increasingly discovered. Not only as a natural ingredient to avoid the use of chemical additives, but the trend of probiotics (closely related to that consumer concerned about their health) puts at the forefront of the industry these small organisms that, although they have been used for a long time, the new applications and opportunities it offers us are more than satisfactory.
  • Use of the fermentation process. This technique also millenary seems to be booming again, we do not stop seeing examples of different companies that have promoted the development of beverages and fermented products where we find again the use of starters maturation.
Industrial fermenters as a source of innovation in industry

How can Amerex help you join the Foodtech trend?

As we have already mentioned, the current consumer of food and beverages is increasingly demanding and demands certain characteristics in their diet, such as natural ingredients and additive-free labels, and that these products are also environmentally friendly.

At Amerex we are dedicated to the manufacture of solutions for conservation based not only on maturation starters whose enzymatic and acidifying activities carry out fermentation, but with products focused on the protection and substitution of chemical additives. Among the latter is our wide range of natural ingredients BIAMEX and SAFEMIX that help protect your food naturally during its life.

In short, is it possible to innovate development a natural product, sustainable and following the clean label trend?

From our company we can also help you in the reduction, not only of artificial additives but in the use of treatments to obtain a more natural and sustainable product with the environment. If you want to know some examples of innovation in food you can access our section reduction/ removal of additives and processed, where you will find a lot of evidence of success!

If you have any doubt about what is exposed in this space or want to know more about the use of crops as a focus of innovation, without forgetting microbiological safety and maintaining a clean labeling by using natural and healthy ingredients. ¡ Don’t hesitate to write us!

imasd@amerexingredientes.es

Tel: +34 91 845 42 14

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