FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal
Science fiction has fed us with so many ideas about what the future would be like. The movie, Soylent Green no matter how old, still comes to mind for its chilling present-day relevance. Based on a novel written in 1966, Soylent was set in the year 2022, and depicted an ugly world dying due to the effects of climate change, overpopulation, food scarcity, pollution, and issues similar to what we currently face. Meat was a luxury, so everyday food was, take note, plant-based, supposedly made from soy, lentil, even plankton (or so we thought until we reached the movie’s highpoint).
The future of food is easier to predict compared to 50 years ago, and I’d like to think we are better equipped to manage crises in order to prevent food and water scarcity that futurists speak of when pertaining to rising populations. In advanced countries, we’re seeing industry’s efforts leaning toward sustainable sources of ingredients, food, packaging, and waste reduction in every step of production and consumption. Among them is protein derived from plants. In this issue, we’ve compiled several forecasts on plant-based proteins.
The research and idea lab, SPACE10 (https://space10.com), has been experimenting on future foods, and much of what they’ve come up with are meals a mix of vegetables and alternative proteins such as edible insects, spirulina, and lab-grown meat. Microgreens are grown hydroponically. Since many of these ingredients although highly nutritious can turn off consumers, SPACE10 experts are focusing on flavours so products like their Dogless Hotdog and Bug Burger will be enjoyable. That’s what many manufacturers dream of, and ingredients providers are ready to support them with texturisers, flavours, colours, and other components.
Hydroponics, plant-based, dairy-free chocolate, edible bugs – we know them today, and they will be a big part of our future. One of the most recent innovations is Barry Callebaut’s M_lk Chocolate, which is said to be creamy and milky even if it’s dairy-free.