Commercialization of foods started from a long time ago. Massive food production was made possible with an industrial revolution and believed to have changed how our food trends today.
Foods that we known as "food" before the era of development have gone beyond. There were more foods available for the consumers, more variety and more other ingredients. As technologies develop, we begin to add on processes, adding in ingredients and explore other food options such as lab grown meat and insects.and the fancy packaging that we have now.
Recent food scares that involve food frauds such as mislabelling, contaminated food sources with hazardous bacterias such as E.coli spp and Listeria monocytogenes are among few that brought food products to a questionable level of safety and integrity. Then, there were issues of chemicals addition such as direct food additives or chemicals transfer from packaging to foods. These chemicals in their natural and artificial formats are known to be harmful to a human body, when consume excessively.
Furthermore, we are flooded by recent researches that indicated that more diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases began to affects us and our future generation for Westernized diet that consist of high sugar, fats and salt. It began with technologies, followed by marketing activities to get you and your children addicted to the food products, so the company can sell more. Great tasting food, simply said is an addiction. People travel miles and miles to get great food products.
The discussion goes further along that these food technologies help preserve quality and food safety ofoods that otherwise, have been turned into food waste. With growing world population, I think food technologies exist for a good reason. In the world of battling obesity, hunger and poverty, getting a balance from food products could be challenging. The world is looking at the global food industry to see how we feed people with food that are healthy, high quality, affordable and with great values.
To raise the bars, food regulator around the world are looking for ways to enhance food security through food safety program and government regulatory activities. GMP, HACCP and GFSI certification alone, is not sufficient. Try GMO, kosher, halal and gluten-free certification. There is a handful of regulations that food manufacturers now, need to follow. What does it mean?
It meant as a food technologist, our responsibilities include satisfying regulatory compliance, ensuring your food is safe and to an extend, educating consumers of what food really is. Most consumers are not familiar with how food industry works and it is simply a challenge for them and us to see why a certain ingredient is included in a formulation. Sometimes, the sugar, fat and salt is simply coming from consumers themselves.
Note from writer:
I hope by providing some insight about being both a consumer and a food technologist, what I have seen and what is happening would help you to understand and realize the true situation. Most of the time, food manufacturer depends on customer.Customer retention is our best hope. If you want anything to change, voice out.
Felicia Loo is a food science graduate from UBC. With an interest in food marketing, she explores how food products are created, marketed, and distributed toward an end users.
Find me on LinkedIn. Tweet me @felicialoo. Visit me at www.felicialoo.com.