Designer foods

Since the 'green revolution' the role of science and technology in agriculture has been paramount.

For Australian agriculture alone, 62 per cent of the sector’s productivity growth since 1995-1996 is a result of technological advancements.  

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In the past foods have been engineered at the genetic level to drive productivity and efficiency gains by overcoming environmental conditions, bolstering resistance to disease or pests, or increasing quality and production.

"Aligning what is produced to the end consumer at such a level has never been seen before.”

Now a new phase looms. The chief executive of the USA Produce Marketing Association, Cathy Burns says genomics in the future will place a greater focus on nutrition and sustainability.

“Technology has the potential to better track and understand the nutritional requirements and behaviours of the human body, down to the individual,” she says.

Aligning what is produced to the end consumer at such a level has never been seen before.

However, according to Burns it’s a path we’ll head down as DNA mapping improves and our ability to gather data from within the body becomes more precise.

“We’ve added another dimension because we’re going to have more data about our bodies and how we process food,” she says.

“We will have all this data to understand an individual’s health preferences and nutrition profiles, taking all that information in our bodies and creating personalised nutritional advice for each of us in terms of the types of products we should be eating based on our DNA and our makeup.”

These advances mean organisations are able to target consumers based on their individual profiling.

This new approach to food development and consumption will resonate strongly with individuals from the millennial and gen Z generations, according to Burns.

“They are conscious around health and sustainably. They care very much about what they’re putting in their bodies and they’re willing pay more for foods that not only taste good but are good for the environment and good for their health.”

Simone Stella is a bluenotes contributor

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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