Maintaining “freshness” in the global food market
RAY A. MATULKA
Member of AgroFOOD industry hi-tech’s Scientific Advisory Board
As the world is becoming more technologically complex, today’s consumers are demanding that foods become less complex: consumers want more “natural”, “minimally processed”, or “additive-free” options in the marketplace, while still expecting that a wide variety of foods be available year-around, but without the processing and preservatives that had made year-round availability possible in the first place. Meeting this “demand” is far more demanding on the food industry than one may first consider. As an example, consumers want “fresh-picked” fruits and vegetables, including those that only grow half-way around the world. To the consumer, all such food should retain the crispness and “picture-perfect” qualities of fresh-picked, even when found in frozen or canned foods or ready-to-eat meals; in addition, innovative tastes and textures are also expected.
The food industry is trying to stay abreast, if not anticipate, the consumer’s wants for the food industry. Food technologists are continually evaluating ingredients that may have multiple attributes for innovative food products. For example, so ...