The Latest Technology in Alternative Foods (Video)


They were so inspired by Colin Kaepernick’s daring racial justice activism that they did what they do best: Ben & Jerry’s concocted what they called “a euphoric flavorTo honor Kaepernick’s activism. Ben & Jerry’s “Colin Kaepernick’s Change The Whirled Non-Dairy” is made with sunflower butter and is 100% certified vegan, just like Kaepernick. The graham cracker, chocolate cookie swirl, and ‘melt-in-your-mouth vegan dessert masterpiece’ invites others to think about how they can help change the mood too. swirled world. This is just one example of a whole slew of new technologies in alternative foods reaching the consumer market.

At a time when President Biden’s climate plan to quickly replace the country’s coal and gas-fired power plants with wind, solar and nuclear power is under attack by Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WV), it is great to see Ben & Jerry’s use their food platform to promote justice. And, although we may not be able to convince Senator Manchin to give up those who brought him here *, we can look at what’s happening in the latest technology in alternative foods as a way to disrupt and inspire transformational change. In doing so, we can embrace our ability to make sustainable choices, use resources honorably, influence companies to place less emphasis on environmentally harmful product lines, and strengthen nutrition security in the industry. the world.

Reduce the footprint of the farmed meat industry

The way we order, cook and eat is already transforming under the influence of the global pandemic, the climate crisis, access to new technologies and strong health goals. Alon chen, CEO of To taste, says today’s consumers need foods and beverages that meet their needs and provide solutions to problems – from the workforce to the planet. To taste uses AI to help brands create impactful contributions to what some in the industry are calling the “new meat” space – the plant-based alternatives to meat that are the talk of the industry.

Chen argues that one of the biggest changes to come is the rise of alternatives to meat, a $ 14 billion opportunity. And businesses are responding. Many are working to reduce the important climate footprint of the farmed meat industry by examining and innovating ways to move away from animal meat. This has translated into more resources devoted to plant-based meat products, versatile solutions and options to change the way we consume food.

Using technology to solve problems will open the door to lasting, lasting change in the choices we need to eat, Chen predicts.

Flavor technology in alternative foods

The reasons why humans are forced to eat meat are complex but can be understood through the Maillard reaction, which says that many small, simultaneous chemical reactions occur when the proteins and sugars in and on your food are heat transformed, producing new flavors, aromas and colors. Concretely, the Maillard reaction makes food more attractive to us humans, encouraging us to dig into a steak, drink a coffee or drink a beer.

Plant-based meats are products designed to imitate meat. While earlier products like tofu and seitan were intended to replace meat, newer products attempt to mimic its taste, texture, smell and appearance. Consumers want a greater variety of innovative, bold and globally inspired flavors in their plant protein products.

According to T. Hasegawa group, a barbecue, Garlic, and spice are the latest expanding flavor trio among plant protein product developments with sweet, smoky and peppery flavors multiplying consumer appeal. Food Navigator reports that as the US subsidiary of its global top 10 flavors and fragrances, T. Hasegawa USA has developed numerous technologies that help deliver the familiar flavor that consumers seek in meat substitutes and other plant proteins.

They have a particular focus on recreating the familiar texture and oily, indulgent characteristics of these favorite foods. The company is developing custom modifier formulations to improve sweetness, reduce salt, enrich umami, increase mouthfeel, block out bitterness, or mask mistaken notes. The process begins with analyzing a customer’s basic formulation and performing a taste assessment of the matrix. Based on the knowledge of sensory scientists, complementary flavors are tested and the formulation is balanced until optimal taste is achieved.

A synergy of technological change can help food ecosystems

The most significant impacts we have as citizens lie in voting and our purchasing power, as government and industry leaders adapt and implement changes based on voter influences and of consumers. This means that each of us can help our countries meet their long and short term emissions targets. And we can start with what we eat: more than a third – 34% – of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions are generated by food systems.

Researchers from University of Michigan and Tulane University have deconstructed this carbon footprint. 56% come from meat in general and 45% from beef in particular, and the remainder comes from the fossil fuels used to transport the products, from the land and water necessary for their cultivation and from the fossil fuels which constitute the base of most pesticides. A suite June 2020 study by members of the research team found that a 50% reduction in the consumption of all foods of animal origin would save 224 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of emissions of 47.5 million cars per year.

Eliminating meat, fish and dairy products is certainly good for the environment, and even a flexitarian diet can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 52%, according to research by Nature. The summary of the study reminds us that the food system is a major driver of climate change, changes in land use, depletion of freshwater resources and pollution of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems by inputs. excessive nitrogen and phosphorus. By 2050, expected changes in population and income levels could lead beyond the planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for humanity.

Indeed, the environmental effects of the food system could increase by 50 to 90% in the absence of technological changes and dedicated mitigation measures. Again, dietary changes to healthier and more plant-based diets, improved technology and management, and reduced food loss and waste can become “a synergistic combination of measures” to sufficiently mitigate the increase. predicted environmental pressures.

Technological changes certainly increase the efficiency of production and reduce the environmental impact per unit of food produced. Staying within GHG limits requires a number of concessions on the way we eat and produce food:

  • an ambitious dietary change towards more flexitarian and plant-based diets;
  • reductions in food loss and waste or technological improvements;
  • stay within the average values ​​of the limits of cultivated land and blue water;
  • technological improvements combined with reductions in food loss and waste;
  • stay within the mean values ​​of the nitrogen and phosphorus limits; and,
  • a more optimistic socio-economic development path that includes a smaller population and higher income growth.

The combination of these measures in synergy results in the adoption of different measures of technological change for each environmental domain. New technology in alternative foods is one piece of this bigger puzzle.

* Manchin writes our climate policy while he personally benefits from coal.

Infographic provided by To taste

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