The Future of Food Innovation

March 19 2008 / by juldrich
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2008   Rating: 14 Hot

Science is the future of food.

Cross-posted from

Yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal, there was an interesting article on Steve Demos (the man who brought soy milk into millions of homes). The article primarily concentrated on Demos’ latest product—GoodBelly, which is a probotic product that uses bacteria to aid consumers digestion.

The aspect of the article that caught my attention, however, was Demos’ response to the question of “Where is the future competitive advantage for food companies?” His answer was simple: “It’s going to be with science.”

Let me repeat that—it’s going to be with science. It is critical that every food company embrace this notion very soon. If they don’t, they will risk becoming irrelevant.


Over the past few months, I have discussed how nanotechnology will revolutionize the food industry and I recently discussed how the field of genomics will impact the agricultural sector, but for a quick overview of where the food industry is headed I would encourage interested parties to read this article entitled “Your Burger on Biotech.” For folks interested in a slightly more in-depth look into the future of food are encouraged to read this Popular Science article called “The Science of Yummy.”

Lastly, as further proof of food companies need to get serious about embracing science, I’d recommend this short but informative article discussing how Nestle is applying quantum mechanics to optimize food taste, texture and nutrition.

The bottom-line is that if food companies want to innovate into the future they will need to understand nanotechnology, genomics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and, yes, even quantum mechanics.

Comment Thread (2 Responses)

  1. Looks like taste buds are about to go vestigial.

    Will the first quantum computer be dedicated to processing cheese?

    Great links!

    Posted by: FutureFly   March 19, 2008
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  2. I totally agree with the fact that the future of food is in science. However, I think this is rather a growing trend than a new phenomenon. In fast food alone, the meat used is primarily soy protein with flavor additives – therefore in their case, science is helping them cut costs and subsequently the nutritional value. What I’m most excited about re: the future of food is how the biology you describe will help enhance the nutritional value of our food with complex flavors or caloric reduction. I think a lot of cool kitchen gadgets will also enhance this process.

    Posted by: Marisa Vitols   March 19, 2008
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