www.foodtechnology.co.nz 9 of consumers who will pay for foods that meet their needs – as a society we are becoming more fussy in our eating choices. They will also pay for luxury items, as we have seen with the growing TIGHTEN YOUR EFFLUENT CONTROL AND MONITOR YOUR PRODUCT LOSS WITH HACH BIOTECTOR TOC ANALYSERS! Certified uptime of 99.86% with no calibration between services Not affected by salts, fats or oils Contact Hach today! AU: 1300 887 735 | www.au.hach.com NZ: 0800 50 55 66 | www.nz.hach.com FT040 variety of chocolate. I believe there is room for growth here in the dessert/ luxury food markets. We also need to consider the driver of the food manufacturers… economics. Food companies are in business to make money so they need to make the most of any raw materials. This is likely to see greater use of waste from the food industry. In the past 50 years we have developed our dairy industry to use much of the former dairy waste as food ingredients. The meat industry is following suit but there is scope for making use of the huge amount of waste from the fruit and vegetable trade and waste from seafood processing. As a microbiologist, I see the biggest growth area is in fermented foods, which could make use of some of the waste materials from our food industry. Looking back over the past 50 years we have seen a huge growth in the fermented milks, in particular yoghurt. This is likely to continue into products such as kefir (I have a student working on this at present), now becoming available on supermarket shelves, driven by our growing cultural diversity. However there is room for growth here. How about the great variety of fermented sausage products available in Europe? We have seen the growth in cheese varieties here, but have yet to see the potential in fermented meat products, which may also make use of some of the waste material from the meat industry. One area that I see huge potential in is fermented vegetable products. The simplest examples are sauerkraut and kimchee. A more sophisticated example, with much greater food value, is tempeh. This fermented soya bean product has huge potential, particularly for vegetarians. I have had my students make some very tasty sausages, burgers and cheesecake bases out of this highly nutritious food. Speculation around a hugely different food system, such as insects as a raw material, is unlikely to be feasible or acceptable by consumers, although it is an interesting concept. Some other more unusual foods like seaweed, already used in the manufacture of sushi, are likely to be more widely accepted and, if included alongside fish farming and fermented fish products, could see a whole range of new and exciting foods developed over the next 50 years. These are the challenges for tomorrow’s food technologists. As a microbiologist, I see the biggest growth area is in fermented foods. Such foods could make use of some of the waste materials from our food industry. Professor Steve Flint is the director of the food division at Massey University’s Institute of Food Nutrition and Human Health (Palmerston North).
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