Our future diet: opportunities for food innovation

March 31, 2014: Nyenrode University, Breukelen

The importance of nutrition for the individual health has changed. In the future, health is defined as an “optimal metabolism, that the risk of a large number of disease reduced”

How is health defined now:

  • The future: Nutrition Improving health as performance.
  • Freedom from disease.
  • Biomarkers are indicators of disease.
We want health and true prevention

Health in future will be Optimal Metabolism

  • Foods and Ingredients that improve overall metabolic efficiency.
  • Provide or enhance active protection.
  • Biomarkers must be global, individual, immediate.

Our diet will be much more tailored to the individual in the future.

Our diet in 2025

  • Genetic blueprint established even before we are born.
  • Personalized dietary advice from cradle to grave.
  • After birth we are colonized by specific sets of gut microbes these are given to babies & mothers as foods.
  • Function of our genes and those of our gut are monitored regularly & used to optimize diet.

The innovation in the field of nutrition and food is determined by the advances in food technology but especially in the conceptual thinking about the relationship between nutrition and health.

Change in conceptual approach to food

  • Traditional foods: Contribute to fulfill nutritional needs for health attainment
  • Functional foods:Offer more than traditional foods, e.g. they exert specific physiological actions, leading to improved health and/or prevention of diseases.
    • Functional food ingredients are recognized as functional only if included in a food and taken as a part of the diet
    • Balanced diet remains primary recommendation
    • Clear distinction between functional foods and medical foods.

Innovation in the field of nutrition and food requires good collaboration between industry and academia.

Key drivers for food industry

  • Reduction of food waste – Moves to reduce the huge amount of unnecessary food waste, as consumers adapt their shopping habits in times of continuing austerity.
  • Cost reduction technologies – to curb rocketing food prices, particularly in the dairy industry
  • Regaining consumer trust – following a year of scandals and negative headlines.

Five prominent ingredient trends

  • More with Less – lowering waste and cost
  • Away with the Demons – sugar and salt reduction
  • Go Natural – removing artificial colors
  • Bridging the Protein Gap – boosting the protein content with new protein sources
  • EFSA Survivors – approved health claims