How food technology is influencing our health?

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Foodtech

Food industries are currently translating nutritional knowledge into consumer reality by producing foods that bring not only enhanced taste and texture but also nutritional and health advantages. As we all live a busy lifestyle (maybe before the pandemic), it leads us to choose convenient foods rather than healthy ones. But the scenario has changed. Consumers are more aware of the food they eat than ever before. Some technologies have made a quite good impact on food and nutrition, which have lifted us to the next level. There are now a bunch of new nutrition organizations, promising to change our lives and address our unhealthy food habits.

Food Technological innovations:

Web applications:

Maintaining a routine and tracking them is quite a difficult task which may also break at times. It is even worse to do it all alone without any assistance/guide. Coming to the applications, there are dozens of inexpensive applications, where experts track your routine with the details you provide them and also provide suggestions. Just sending the pictures of what you eat is enough and is as simple as that! 

  • Between visits, nutritionists can communicate with their customers via messaging applications and client-provider portals. This means that between sessions, you will receive the same level of care. 
  • Clients have stronger bonds with their nutritionists, and they are more inclined to follow advice.
  • Smart scales and smart plates are among the tools that dietitians provide to their clients. These latest kitchen devices can collect data and instantly submit it to their online site. This increases meal plan conformance, as well as making it easier than ever to track success over time.
  • The potential of widespread usage, the identification of the most successful alternatives, and the level of integration necessary in daily life to be effective are the major concerns.

Nutribullet balance:

Coming to the gadgets used, The NutriBullet Balance has a smart nutrition system, which allows the blender to connect to a smartphone or tablet app and provide real-time nutrition data down to the gram. It achieves this by weighing, measuring, and recording the food you put into it as you put it in.

Using the built-in Nutrition Sensor, it counts calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and sugar levels in dishes. Users can try out the recipes integrated into the app, which are automatically generated based on the user’s interests and nutritional requirements, making it easier to prepare nutritious smoothies.

Technologies used in agriculture:

We would eat healthy if the source of the item is safe and healthy. To ensure and  maintain such things, technologies are being used. As farmers attempt to feed the population with limited natural resources, technological advancements are vital to the future of agriculture.

  • Soil sensors are vital for the rapid identification of factors like pH, temperature, the humidity of the soil with accuracy, speed, and stable output.
  • We have heard that drones are being used for spying, videography, and things similar to that. It is also now used for increasing crop production and growth optimization. It provides farmers with better visualization and takes snaps in both near-infrared views as well as visual spectrum views. It addresses issues like infections, soil variation, and irrigation problems.
  • Aquaponics is a method of raising fish and plants in the same environment. The wastes from the fishes are synthesized directly into nitrates by the bacteria in the surrounding area. These nitrates act as food for plants, resulting in a nitrogen cycle that is both effective and efficient. 
  • Hydroponics is quite simple where plants are grown using chemical nutrients and water and are free of soil. Basil, lettuce, and tomato are generally grown to provide a high yield. Depending on the application, either of these approaches can be very successful and useful. Certain plants, on the other hand, grow better in one way or the other; therefore, it’s a good idea to understand more about the distinctions between aquaponics and hydroponics. 

Non- technological innovations:

Biofortification:

The process of improving nutrition in food crops by agronomic techniques, classic plant breeding, or advanced biotechnology is known as biofortification. Howarth Bouis, an economist from International Food Policy Research Institute, wondered, “What if we just induce plants to perform part of this job for us?” and so this innovation. Biofortification’s main objective is to lower mortality and morbidity rates associated with nutritional deficiencies, simultaneously improving food security and standards of living of people who couldn’t afford such things in developing nations. Biofortification is different from fortification because it aspires to boost up nutritional value in crops throughout plant development rather than using manual methods during crop processing. Biofortification thus also be a feasible option for reaching communities where supplements and traditional fortification methods are difficult to adopt or limited. For example,

  • Rice, beans, sweet potato, and legumes contain iron biofortification.
  • Wheat, rice, beans, and maize contain zinc biofortification.
  • Sweet potato, maize, and cassava contain provitamin A carotenoid biofortification.
  • Sorghum and cassava contain amino acid and protein biofortification.

Personalized nutritional care:

Individual differences in response to nutrition, nutrient status, dietary patterns, the timing of eating, and environmental exposures contribute to the dramatic inter-individual differences observed in the same.

Chronic illness caused by poor nutrition is a worldwide concern, and its consequences are not limited to adults or those reaching the end of their lives. The period from pregnancy to two years of age is crucial for physiological and mental development.

In children, health problems like obesity and cardiovascular illnesses are due to poor nutrition during those 1000 days. So, dietary and lifestyle treatments to reduce illness risk throughout the life cycle have become the focus of many recent studies.

Innovation in the home garden:

A well-developed home garden may considerably contribute to daily food requirements. It may provide virtually all of a household’s non-staple foods, such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, coconuts, and root crops, as well as spices, tea, coffee, medications, and flowers for display or sale.

  • Smart garden grow kit fertilizer: Click & Grow launched, The Smart Garden Grow Kit which makes it easy to manage one variety of herb in just three easy steps: plug in the gadget, implant the seed pods, and water once every month.  The device will provide the required light, along with oxygen and nutrients, using automatic LEDs.
  • Indoor hydroponic garden: AeroGarden’s indoor kit enables you to grow up to six plants at the same time. It incorporates a seed pod technique, therefore enabling users to add the herbs of their choice. When it’s time to water and nourish the plants, the control panel will remind you. For optimal development, the device also switches on and off the lighting.
  • Window herb garden: Unlike other indoor gardens that include lights, this Window Herb Garden is intended to be put in direct sunlight. This keeps you more engaged with your garden. It’s self-watering, with an indicator for when it’s time to refill, and comes with fiber soil, however, fertilizer should be added to ensure that plants reach their full potential.
  • Kitchen cultivator: For microgreen lovers, Urban Cultivator is an under-counter gadget that could fit in a small space for people who cherish microgreens, and have space to spare. The product fits into any modern kitchen, while we control watering cycles, lighting, and temperature.

Fat replacement:

  • Fat is the source of taste and texture for any foods and food compositions. High dietary fat content and obesity have been related to chronic illnesses and are frequently advised as a way of losing weight and improving health.” Fat-modified foods” refers to a variety of foods where the fat level of the original meal has been altered, by removing the fat or substituting a reduced-fat or non-fat component for some or all of it. The three types of fat substitutes are:
  • Carbohydrate-based replacers are made from cereals, grains, and plants and are changed to give food items a fat-like feel while providing a lower calorie product due to their low energy density compared to fats. 
  • Protein-based replacers are mainly milk, egg, whey, proteins, and provide foods with lower calorie content. 
  • Fat-based replacers where original fat is replaced with low-calorie fat. A perfect fat substitute would be a material that is free of health hazards but tastes and looks like natural fat.

The FDA has given salatrim, which is sold under the brand name Benefat by Cultor Food Science, GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) certification.

Desirable natural chemicals may now be generated in big quantities at a cheap cost and with little ecological impact when combined with biofermentation. The possibility of using advanced food technology to create a wide range of foods with improved flavours, also providing various health advantages to consumers is quite fascinating.

Article by – Priya Darshini

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