Future foods in India: trendy and healthy idea for widening the food processing basket


Divya Panneerselvama,Monica Oswalb and Suresh Kumar Paramasivama*


If wego back in time, the “Future of Food” concept began nearly 18 years ago, when genetically modifiedfoods(GMOs) were introduced in the United States. Now, in 2020, the question of whatand how will we be eating in the future is continuously evolving. Asreported by CSIRO,Australia, food demand is expected to continue to increase by 14% per decade,meaning food production needs to be nearly double its current rate in order tokeep up. So, what will we be eating in the next 20 years and how will we feedmore than 10 billion peopleacross the globe by 2050, decides the face of food processing industry? IndiaFood Processing Industry is projected to be a US$135 billion (Rupees 10 Lakhcrores) enterprise with the CAGR of roughly 8% annually. These signals implytoward extraordinary shift towards food processing from traditionalapproaches. We produce 17 percent of the worldwide general of vegetablesand 14 percentage inside the case of culmination. About 40 percent of theworld’s mangoes and 30 percentage of the arena’s bananas and papayas areproduced in India. Further, India has many precise matters to offer to consistof Alphonso Mangoes and wheat of Madhya Pradesh is uniquely protein-wealthy.

Present day, western style of foodconsumptions resulted the diet which is high in calories and in combinationwith the modern style of life leads to health problems, such as obesity, heartdiseases, diabetes, etc. Therefore, there is a need for nutritive andfunctional based food products in future that can promote health by enrichingthe diet with vitamins, minerals, PUFAs, etc., and according to consumers usingthe natural forms of ingredients instead of the synthetic produced ones hasbecome very appealing. Scientists and futurists insist that inthe back drop of overpopulation and limited resources, we need to rethink whatwe are eating every day. Research in the food industry and rapid advancement oftechnology provide new perspectives on what we will be putting on our plates inthe future. In this article, we at Bright Sidecollected some ideas about the food we'll be eating in the future. Read ourlist until the end, be surprised, and find a bonus at the bottom of the list.

3D Printed Foods

Robotsand software have been significantly improving our daily lives by rendering usmuch convenience. And 3D printing is a typical example, for it is going to userin a new era of localized manufacturing that is actually based on digitalfabrication by layer-by-layer deposition in three-dimensional space. Thedesigns of objects are created by Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and the3D printer is connected and controlled by the computer by a USB cable. Theproducts are produced based on 3D models or other electronic data sourceand can be made into any shape in theory. Distinct from traditional machiningtechniques, 3D printing mostly relies on the removal of material by subtractiveprocessing methods such as drilling or cutting. Thus, 3D printer can easilymake intricate shapes and even used-to-be impossible internal structures.

3D food printing benefits

·        Enhancing the Process of Production

·        New nutrient-dense and potential usage of any food materials

·        Novel Food Structuring using a broad range of Alternative FoodIngredients

·        Improvement on traditional food products appearance and texture by thecontrol of food materials at macro and micro-structural levels

·        Environmentally friendly and sustainable Technology

·        Promoting Higher Social Bonding through Food Messaging


High protein insects

Forfood security purposes, insect farming is actually considered a sustainable wayto provide an ecologically viable food source to the world’s population. Howwould you feel about consuming sandwich, snacks and bars made out of insects?Yes, insect-eating, also known as entomophagy, represents the future offood. In fact, it is already a common practice in Thailand, China, Brazil,Mexico, and some African countries. According to thisin-depth report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, insects arealready being consumed by at least 1.8 billion people. Although some peoplemight be disgusted by the thought of eating insects, they are high in fat,protein, vitamin, fiber and mineral content. Besides, consuming insects is more environmentally friendly thanconsuming livestock. Certain species of insects, typically mealworms, cricketsand grasshoppers are becoming the trend in the field of high-protein food products. The aim of this innovation istwo-fold:

1.      Tackle the war on malnutrition problemsin under-developed countries.

2.      Significantly reduce the environmentalimpact of the meat-heavy western diet.

European firms, such as the UK’s FuturePositive Capital, Netherlands’ Aqua-Spark, andFrance’sBpifranceFPCI Ecotechnologies, are the notable investors in the insect farming industry. Interestingly, mealworms are already onthe market in Switzerland. As published by FoodIngredients First, a Swiss startup called Essento,developed insect burgers for human consumption. They are bug-balls thatresemble falafels and are packed with essential nutrients, such as proteins,unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and fibers.


Algal based foods

Algaehave been mostly introduced to meat and bakery products. Edible algaeSea Spaghetti (Halomonas elongata), Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida)and Nori (Porphyra umbilicalis) were added to meat, which resulted inincreased levels of K, Ca, Mg, and Mn. Moreover, the presence of Nori algaeincreased the levels of serine, glycine, alanine, valine, tyrosine,phenylalanine, and arginine. The addition of Sea Spaghetti increased thecontent of sulfur amino acids by 20%. Meat enrichment with algae supplied solublepolyphenolic compounds, which increased the antioxidative potential of thewhole system. Functional bread with the addition of algae was alsocreated. Studies confirmed that it was possible to add Ascophyllumnodosum algae to basic food, such as bread, at the level of 4% per400?g of whole meal loaf. Consumption of that bread for breakfast led to asignificant decrease (16.4%) of energy consumption during a test meal 4?hourslate. Microalgal biomass was predominately utilized in the health food market. However,since the incorporation of ingredients with the natural origin and functionalproperties in the traditional food is a way to design attractive and healthynew products, there are numerous combinations of microalgae or mixtures withother foods all over the world.


A typical example of an allergen-free nut is the gluten-freetiger nut. As showcased at the IngredientShow 2018 in Birmingham, UK,  Ani de la Prida, co-founder of TheTiger Nut Company, explained the functional benefits of tiger nuts, noting: “Tippedto be the next gluten-free superfood, tiger nuts are high in fiber and can beused as an additive-free, minimally processed ingredient in gluten-freebaking.” The tiger nut, or Cyperusesculentus, a crop of the sedge family or weed plant, is widespread inSouthern Europe, Africa, and Madagascar, as well as the Middle East and IndianSubcontinent. Resembling sweet almond-like tubers, they are well-known fortheir high nutritive value, especially high fiber content, oleic acid, vitaminsC and E, and minerals like potassium and phosphorus. Importantly, tiger nutsare mainly used for the production of milk, which is suitable for consumers whoare intolerant to gluten (celiac disease) and lactose. This video highlightshow this special nut can be used, such as in your favorite smoothies.

Plant-based lab grown meatsubstitutes

Producing meat in a lab is a way to combat environmental issues: greenhouse gas emissions,overfishing, and animal welfare concerns. A company called Memphis Meats already produces laboratory-grown meatballs using stem cellsfrom animals (obtained via a painless biopsy). The price for making 450 g ofmeat reached $2,400.

Weare quickly realizing the impact meat production has on the global ecosystemand biodiversity. Are we moving towards a meat-free dinner plate? Well, thetrend is increasing. The health-conscious generation is asking for more plant-based products on the market, with clean labeling. Some companies are progressivelymaking foods that taste just like meat. Examples include:

·        Beyond Meat: This Los Angeles-based company made the first plant-basedburger. Other products include plant-based sausages, soy and pea protein-basedchicken strips and pea protein-based beef crumble.  

·        Fry Family: This South Africa-based company,similar to beyond meat, has over 15 different plant-based meat substitutes.

·        Impossible Foods: This California-based startup hasdone the impossible and made a plant-based burger that actually sizzles andbleeds like a meat burger, as demonstrated in the video. The company’sImpossible Burger recently became certified as Kosher.


India’s GDP with the aid of food processing representsabout 10% that of agriculture. But given the ability of India, this is anunderachievement. All of these plant-based innovations will providealternatives and supplement the current dietary pattern which is more towardsless energy efficiency and incline towards over dependence on animals. Use of plant based substitutes could result in 15times less water utilization, a reduction in methane gas emission, and savingour beautiful rainforests from further destruction. We should still considerthe consumption of less processed foods and more real cooking, withnutrient-dense foods, to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Nevertheless,3D printing has some critical challenges that must be taken into considerationin order to certify a wide future application. These challenges might beovercome by setting international specific guidelines (FDA) for facilities,personnel, food safety and shelf life and most importantly by developing asimulation model of behavior for a particular batch of product during 3Dprinting. Use of algae as a food will open new horizonsfor the food industry, offering nutritional and health benefits based on theuse of this abundant, yet currently underestimated, natural resource. Developmentsin this field will bring some new, innovative functional products that willmeet the expectations of consumers and fill the gap in the food industry.


aICAR - National Research Centre for Banana,Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India 620102

bM.TECH (Food Science and Technology), IIFPT,Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India 620102

*corresponding author: psureshars@gmail.com