Can’t Do Without It: The Food Industry

Can’t Do Without It: The Food Industry

Prof. Eyal Shimoni, Chief Technology Officer of Strauss Group, describes facts that might surprise you about the food industry

Sometimes, the value of something can only be perceived in its absence. therefore I suggest the following mental exercise: Imagine a world without the food industry. Without a food industry, food production will drop by 75%, and the world will experience food shortage; only about 30% of raw materials will end up in the markets; it will be impossible to transport food over long distances without the  simplest preservation method: heat preservation, metal boxes (commonly known as “canned food “- which contains no preservatives whatsoever…), or without drying products to powders (milk, coffee, herbal spices and more).To support the world population we would have required much more resources and would have left a much harsher environmental footprint behind.

So what would such a world look like? IFT produced a film that offers a glimpse into life without a food industry and solutions which science and technology provide in the world we live in today.

From Crossing the Oceans to the Journey to the Moon: The Food Industry’s Contribution to Humanity

Throughout the history of mankind there have been various examples of the importance of food sciences, technologies and the food industry as a major tool in dealing with various challenges we faced as human beings. Lack of basic food as a source of calories has driven masses of people from one place to next.

We only need to mention the massive Irish immigration to the United States in this regard.

The discovery of vitamins such as vitamin C, has opened before the human race the ability to navigate in the ocean for long periods of time. The vitamins world was discovered when sailors who sailed for a long time suffered from scurvy that resulted from vitamin C deficiency.

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Food technology also contributed its share in the race to the moon. Various technologies were developed such as food packs in tubes, freeze drying and shelf-life predictions for various products.

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The quantum leap brought by pasteurization to the world of milk and beyond was a milestone in the war on tuberculosis. Milk was now safe to use and much more accessible, becoming the basis of a protein and calcium-rich diet for to the public at large. As nutrition became correct and safe, mortality rates due to food poisonings were close to zero.

Food technology also contributed its share in the race to the moon. Various technologies were developed such as food packs in tubes, freeze drying and shelf-life predictions for various products. These technologies formed the basis for the development of products to the general public, such as freeze-dried coffee, spreads in tubes and more.

Looking on the bright side

In view of the new challenges facing us, such as the obesity pandemic, it is safe to say that the availability of food is a double-edged sword. I suggest that we look at reality from a slightly different angle: the fact that the developed world doesn't hold a conversation about food availability, vitamins or food safety can be largely attributed to an advanced, safe and efficient food industry. The options are available to each and every one of us, we just have to choose. However, responsibility here lies with the industry as well, to continue to manufacture responsibly and effectively, while finding new solutions to the lifestyle of the 21st century and the challenges emerging from it. Bon Appetite...