The 2019 Global Hunger Index report indicates that only 9.6 percent of all children in India (aged between 6 months – 2 years), “are fed a minimum acceptable diet”. Such a staggering number demonstrates the imbalance in food equation that threatens our future.

According to the report – “around 124 million people suffer acute hunger in the world, a striking increase from 80 million two years ago. The reality of hunger and undernutrition continues to have a massive impact on the next generation”.

This brings forth the focus on the various challenges faced in eradicating world hunger – extreme climate changes, violence and conflicts leading to economic slowdown; amongst others.

As food scarcity threatens our future, innovations in food industry becomes paramount.

“We are committed to the cause of Zero Hunger and a healthy and sustainable future. Sagacious IP continues to partner with global F&B industry by supplying them relevant IP information to further their research & product development. If any innovator working with the goal of Zero Hunger, wants any patent information that can support his research, we would be obliged to support them”, said Tarun Bansal, President & Co-Founder, Sagacious IP.

On World Food Day, Sagacious IP celebrates food innovations around the world that have pushed about significant changes in the food industry. Let’s have a look at some of the most prominent food innovations so far.

Front-Runners in Food Innovation

  • John Harvey Kellogg was the first to file a patent on plant-based meat substitute back in 1899.
  • Frederick Edwin May patented an Egg Substitute using linseed and a jelly agent in 1938.
  • Clarence Birdseye set forth the frozen food industry with his patented double belt freezer in 1927.
  • LG Healthcare invented a liquid infant formula containing goat’s milk that enhances digestive absorption as well as allergies in infants (patented in 2016).
  • Philippede Girard, the inventors of tin cans patented the process of preserving food back in 1810.

Key Drivers

  • Academic Research – 12% of the world’s food related patents are contributed by Academic Research Institutions. Institute of Agro Food Science, China and Korea Food Research Institute have been the top academic institutes filing patents in the past ten years.
  • Food Preservation – In the past ten years, 8% of food related innovations are focused on food preservation. Some of the recent innovations in food preservation are:
  1. Sentinel Wrap – Scientists from McMaster University have invented a non-toxic food patch that is specially treated to preserve food for longer durations. It uses a microarray with fluorescent DNA enzyme droplets.
  2. Edipeel – Apeel Sciences, a California based startup developed an edible peel to be applied onto fruits and veggies that prevents dehydration and oxidation, thereby increasing their shelf life (without change in odor or taste).

 Food of the Future

Food sector has also witnessed novel technological advancements. For example, NASA Astronauts can now 3D print pizzas in space, thanks to BeeHex – a Silicon Valley startup that harnessed 3D printing technology to print 3D pizzas.

AI in Food Processing is another technological innovation introduced by a Japanese food company. By using Google’s Tensor Flow machine learning, it automatically detects anomalies in diced potatoes (used in baby food hence subject to stricter safety standards).

Forecast for the next 10 years also suggest an increase in personalized nutrition that will use genetic tests to tailor the eating habits of an individual. A few companies are already conducting DNA testing to offer nutrigenetic services.

Food innovation plays a significant role in creating a better tomorrow. We are hopeful that food innovators around the world will push us towards a healthier and sustainable future. On World Food Day, we take this opportunity to acknowledge their efforts and commitment.

 

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