A Look into the Future of Food

How will food innovation help to fill 9 billion bowls by 2050? That was the question that pervaded discussions at the 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Food Industry Asia (FIA), which took place on 25 April in Singapore.

The AGM was kicked off by Mr Ehab AbouOaf, FIA President and President, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Mars Chocolate. Official association business was led by Mr Matt Kovac, FIA Executive Director, and other members of FIA leadership. Attendees welcomed the newest FIA members Godiva, Dole Food Company, Starbucks, Yili Group, GS1 and BSI Group.

 

 Mr Ehab AbouOaf, FIA President and President, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Mars Chocolate, addresses attendees as part of the President's Welcome at the start of the 7th Annual General Meeting of Food Industry Asia.

 

 Mr AbouOaf, FIA Executive Director Mr Matt Kovac, and Mr Piet Hilarides, FIA Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Consumer Products Asia, FrieslandCampina, addressed attendees as they facilitated approvals and provided business and financial reports during the AGM.

In his keynote address, Mr David Marx, The Science Kitchen founder and Chief Executive Officer, declared that with food innovation, consumers will eat better in 2050 than they do today. Moving toward this objective, he said, would require steps that include a more efficient use of resources, the shifting of diets and reduction of food waste and loss.

 

 Mr David Marx, founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Science Kitchen, a Berlin-based food innovation lab, highlighted vertical farming and the consumption of insects, algae and more plant-based protein as solutions to feed the world's growing population sustainably.

 

 Mr Kovac and other members of the audience react to Mr Marx's presentation on how food innovation is shaping the future food & beverage landscape.

Mr Jeff Haas, Global Head of Agriculture, Food & Beverage, Supply Chain & Commodities, Thomson Reuters, opened the “How is Food Innovation Changing the Food & Beverage Industry?” panel discussion with a look at the current broken state of the food chain, in which 805 million people around the world go to bed hungry every night. He recommended solutions that are based on data, tailored nutrition, alternative sources of protein, and plant-based progress.

Panellists presented the contributions each of their businesses and research are making to the food & beverage landscape, and further discussed the role of food innovation and partnerships in leading the world into a healthy and sustainable food future.


 Left to right: Panellists Mr Marx; Mr Lennart Bjurström, Heart of People and Process, Food for Progress; Ms Katharina Unger, founder and Chief Executive Officer, LIVIN Farms; Dr Iain Brownlee, Director of Operations, Food and Human Nutrition, Newcastle University; and panel moderator Mr Jeff Haas, Global Head of Agriculture, Food & Beverage, Supply Chain & Commodities, Thomson Retuers

The AGM closed with an Innovation Showcase, where representatives from nine FIA member and partner organisations – BSI Group, IGD, RedMart, Keio-National University of Singapore (NUS) CUTE (Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiments) Center, LIVIN Farms, Singapore Polytechnic’s Food Innovation Research Centre (FIRC), Crisp Sensation, Food for Progress and The Science Kitchen – displayed their innovative food products, technologies and services.

 

 At the Food for Progress booth, a chef creates lettuce wraps with Bibim Oumph! - vegan "meat" that is made mainly from soybeans, water and salt. Food for Progress is a Stockholm-based organisation that is taking the lead in driving forward a diet shift toward greater consumption of plant-based protein in the Nordic region.

 

 LIVIN Farms' "protein balls" are made from a mix of dried fruit, nuts, sesame seeds and mealworms. Ms Unger, founder and CEO of LIVIN Farms, promoted the benefits of consuming insects for protein and harvesting them as food in one's home.

 

 At RedMart's booth, attendees sampled new RedMart Ready Meals - packed food products such as butter chicken, vegetable korma and beef lasagna that do not include preservatives or artificial flavours, and stay fresh for an average duration of between three and five days.

 

 Representatives from the Keio-NUS CUTE Center, a joint collaboration between National University of Singapore and Keio University in Japan, explain the centre's Taste+ project, which aims to promote a healthier lifestyle by replacing unnecessary amounts of condiments in the daily consumption of food and beverages, through the virtual enhancement of taste sensations perceived.

 

 A three-dimensional (3D) food printer presented by Singapore Polytechnic's Food Research Innovation Centre (FIRC) prints a "plate" made from combined hexagons out of a beetroot-infused mashed potato puree. Printing food in such a way would allow for customisation of nutrition intake in meals.

 

 Mr Marx demonstrates creation of the trademark of The Science Kitchen - the Kyl21 Molecular Popsicle, which is "reinvented" ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. Food innovation can indeed change the food & beverage landscape, Mr Marx says, by creating new universe of tastes, textures, experiences, ingredient pairings and more.


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