The Global Food Trends that NZ Must Lead to Stay on Top
New Zealand’s food industry is internationally known for the production and efficient processing of animal products and also has a strong reputation for having high quality standards as well as very strict standards surrounding food safety, this according to Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology professor Harjinder Singh. “We must maintain this competitiveness and further enhance our ability to innovate if we are to capture a larger share of the massive growth in demand,” Singh said.
According to an article posted on NZHerald.co.nz, New Zealand holds an excellent research base through the Crown Research Institutes and other universities. Additionally, a number of cross-discipline and cross-institutional collaborations have been occurring in recent years, which has helped to bring together a number of scientific resources to help solve specific food related issues. An example of this is the Riddet Institute, Food Safety Science Centre, and the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge.
“Whether it’s developing strong brands for specialty cheeses, yogurts and fermented meats, or creating natural functional foods for the health-conscious middle classes, New Zealand will need to maintain world-class programs in food research and training, underpinned by investment from government and industry,” said Singh. NZHerald.co.nz asked the food and agriculture experts at Massey University to list food trends the nation must lead in order to secure their economic future.
Functional Foods for Personalized Nutrition: There is a growing demand for specialized protein products in developed markets. These protein products are created and tailored to an individual consumer’s nutritional needs. This food trend is best reflected in “functional foods” where every day foods have additional health-promoting nutrients and minerals added to them during processing.
Precision Agriculture: It is believed the use of technology and advanced science has the ability to revolutionize agriculture by decreasing environmental costs as well as the overall cost of food production. Calculated fertilizer application systems and more targeted weed control are great examples of these practices as well as monitoring pastures for quality of soil and potential production.
Genetic Modification: Technology and advanced science will likely play a large role in solving the sometimes complex problems surrounding food production. Science of this kind has the potential to help reduce the necessity of irrigation and the use of pesticides – it could also help to enhance food safety, reduce greenhouse gases and improve the nutritional value of many food products.