Food that will be in the supermarkets and restaurants in the future will not have visual differences from that of today. However, it will be manufactured, processed and cooked ina different way. The future is near: “functional foods” – foods and drinks with added vitamins, minerals and fatty acids omega-3 – will look tastier (just for reference: the manufacturing of theseproducts accounted for 800 million euros in Europe in 2004). However, the main surprises – products developed in molecular studies, genetic,discoveries and space research- are still to come.
In thissphere the impulse comes from NASA. L'Advance food technology of American space agency specializes in preparing foods for space missions. Such technologies as microwave ovens were developed thanks toits research. The immediate task is to make products stay fresh for longer period. “Products, which can be kept for months or even ages without losing their nourishing properties and vitamin quality,”Michele Perchonok from NASA claims. Techniques that are used include high-pressure treatment, pulsing electric fields, and high frequency sterilization. A sandwich prepared in this way turned out to beedible in seven years. The results can prove useful during the mission to Mars (although it seems that nobody dares to taste this sandwich yet).
The elaboration of artificial meat from animals'muscle cells grown in test tubes is under way in the University of Maryland laboratories. “The substitutes of meat for vegetarians already exist. They are developed from special mushrooms processed in theway that their tissue is not different from that of meat,” the author of the book “The Future of Food” Brian Ford recalls. “We will witness nothing new in this sphere in the next few years.”
Foodof the future, whatever it might be, will be kept in special packages that will provide for the safety of the product, determine when it gets out of order and inform the consumer about this. The...