Graduates of food safety courses have a critical role to play going forward, ensuring that these new processes and products are safe and healthy.
For graduates of food safety courses, and anyone with an interest in food processing, here’s a quick look at three futuristic food processing trends.
Growing Demand for Nutritionally Rich Meal Replacements
The market for high-nutrient snacks and meal replacements that require little to no preparation is driven by a number of factors. These include consumers’ busy lifestyles, increasing healthy consumption habits, and the desire for convenience. In order to satisfy demand, food producers have been using the latest advances in nutritional science and food processing to develop products which pack large amounts of nutrients into compact and appealing forms like shakes or bars. Some examples of companies working within this area include Soylent, often credited with kicking off the high-nutrient meal replacement trend with its own Soylent drink, and the California company Nonfood, which creates nutritionally rich bars with algae as the primary ingredient.
3D Printers Are Finding More Use in the Food Processing Field
While 3D printing is already prominent in areas like medical device manufacturing and the automotive industry, students studying for their certificate in food safety should note that it’s been taking on an increasing role in food production as well. While most 3D food printers to date can only print out foods that require one or two ingredients, some can print up to six ingredients on a single product. While 3D printing in the food industry used to be limited to intricate sugar-based confections, technical advances have now opened up the possibilities available to manufacturers working with 3D food printers. The technology offers particular advantages when it comes to creating intricate designs, automated cooking, mass manufacturing, and personalized meals.
Students in Food Safety Courses Should Know About Artificial Meat
Artificial meat products used to be primarily the domain of vegans and vegetarians, but increasingly, non-vegetarian consumers are looking to substitute meat in their diets. This is largely the result of two trends: increasing concern about sustainability and the environmental impact of the meat industry, and significant advances in the technologies behind fake meat, with manufacturers able to more closely replicate the texture and taste of real meat than ever before.
Students taking a food safety course should know that these meat alternatives mostly break down into two categories: plant-based meat substitutes, which use plant proteins to create “fake” meat products, and cultured or “clean” meat, which is made by actually growing tissue cultures from actual meat cells. While clean meat can be more or less indistinguishable from the real thing, however, the cost is still an impediment.
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