The world will need to raise its food production by 60-70 percent to feed more than nine billion people by 2050. Elite group of scientists, bio-technologists, engineers, food technologists and consumer acceptance experts have been working together to mitigate this foreseen problem effectively with the optimum utilization of limited resources.
Here are a handful of instances of such research around the globe where research teams are trying to invent and reinvent technology in feeding the world.
Maastricht University in Netherlands has come up with tissue cultured beef. On similar lines, Amit Gefen, a biomedical engineer of Israel is coming up with lab grown chicken through tissue engineering. This could have immense effects in reducing the environmental impact of our ecosystem and is expected to address the issue of animal welfare effectively. Success in these research lines could reduce global need to raise livestock, positively impacting limited land use, energy costs and the production of greenhouse gases.
It is proven that pressure treated processed foods maintains better flavor and nutrients. This process also sustains shelf life longer than heat or chemical treated ones. But the process involves high cost. Carole Tonello, an Industrial researcher is working on cost effective method of pressure treating the processed foods to lengthen their shelf-lives.
Y.-H. Percival Zhang, a professor at Virginia Tech Biological Systems is trying to work a viable and risk-free method of converting plant waste to starches. These starches are seen as replacement for plant starches in bio-degradable plastic and could eventually be found as ingredients in human foods.
Jorge Heraud, CEO of Blue River Technology, has invented a “smart” implement. This is seen as a possibility to work out robotic algorithms and precisely place the right amount of chemical or fertilizer to every plant on farm. This significantly reduces wastage and spillage of chemicals.
All the technology in food needs to be perfectly recorded and traceable for improvisation through cloud computing. But this food technology to be viable should ideally not pose long term threats to public health. All these researches if proven beneficial and fit for mass production- rearing animals, food wastage, chemical spillage into the ecosystem could be seen as things of past.