The future of the food industry: food technology explained (2023)

special feature

Food Tech shows how technology can improve the way food is grown, produced, distributed and delivered around the world through the use of technologies such as AI and automation.

The future of the food industry: food technology explained (1)


  • Amanda Hetler,Feuilletonist

Published:04 before 2022

like businessTurn to technology to fight inflationand improve efficiency, food technology is transforming the food industry by using the latest technology to manage production, distribution and consumption.

The food industry isworth more than $1 billionin US gross domestic product, according to the US Department of Agriculture. With such a large industry, there are several challenges, including food sustainability. Food technology is leading the transformation of the global food industry.

What is food technology?

Food technology is any technology that improves the production, distribution, and delivery of food and affects the way people sell, produce, and distribute food.

Although this term sounds new, technology and food have always been linked.Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s and early 1800s. This period led to the rise of industrialized agriculture and set the standards for farming. During this time, industry leaders and inventors worked together to increase the production and quality of food. Key developments included the use of artificial fertilizers, the manufacture of pesticides, the development of electrical power, and the introduction of horse-powered and later steam-powered machinery.

But in recent years, with the advent of big data, AI, and the Internet of Things, food tech has emerged as an industry of its own (Internet of Things). Food technology helpsThe food industry is becoming more sustainable through the use of IoTin all phases.

The future of the food industry: food technology explained (2)

Food sustainability challenges

according to a Food systems are responsible for almost a third of global greenhouse gas absorptionlearnby NatureFood. These emissions continue to increase due to changes in land use, waste management, livestock, manufacturing and packaging.

According to a, the world also wastes about a third of its foodMessageby the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Despite all this food wasteWorld Health Organization estimatesthat almost 828 million people do not have enough to eat.

Food technology is any technology that improves the production, distribution, and delivery of food and affects the way people sell, produce, and distribute food.

Agriculture, the food industry and feeding people pollute the environment with the energy used to produce food and generate waste. Farming affects the land and deprives it of its nutrients. Along with water scarcity, the world is facing a reduction in arable land for growing food.

Food technology is attempting to address some of these issues. Start-ups are taking the latest technology and applying it at different points in the food cycle to create jobs, reduce hunger and promote responsible consumption and production.

Effects of food technology

The global food technology market was worth US$220.32 billion in 2019emerging researchand is projected to grow to $342.52 billion by 2027.

Food technology increases food production to reduce hunger and feed the world.Agriculture is becoming increasingly automatedthrough the use of digital and advanced technology to produce food and raw materialssmart farming. Some applications of technology in food production include the following:

  • Genetically Modified Organisms.GMOs are inserted into a plant's genes to help it become resistant to disease and grow in areas unfavorable for production. GMOs are used in large crops such as rice, wheat and corn.
  • drones.Drones can provide satellite imagery to monitor crop growth and treat problem areas.
  • Meat industry technology.AI is effective in poultry production, where it helps identify health issues in birds based on the sounds they make. AI robots can work on poultry farms to collect eggs or help with slaughtering.
  • crop monitoring.In addition to using drones, AI can detect pests and diseases in crops. Digital apps like AgroPestAlert, Farm Scout Pro and IPM Toolkit can help identify pest infestations and changing soil conditions to prevent large losses.
  • 3D food printer.Food printers can produce foods like pizza, sandwiches, and candy faster. AI helps design the layers and structure of food by placing one ingredient at a time. This could avoid waste as leftover ingredients can be reused.

Various industries in food technology

In addition to lab-grown meat and vertical farms, food technology is a broad ecosystem of technologies that can be broken down into subcategories for each food cycle.


Startups are working to improve the quality of crops using technologies like sensors, drones and software that replace manual labor. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to understand how plants and fungi grow and how to grow them effectively. Other areas of agricultural engineering are fertilizer management,automated machines, soil sensors and water solutions.

Agricultural technology can help farmers practice regenerative agriculture that goes beyond preserving the environment and aims to actively improve it through farming practices. With improved data and automation through agricultural technology, regenerative agriculture can mitigate climate change, restore biodiversity and improve the working environment for farmers.

nutritional science

Startups are exploring new ways to create products that are environmentally friendly and can address health concerns. Plant-based meat substitutes like Beyond are an example of a newer product in this category. Scientists are working with high-moisture extrusion and shear cell technology to find meal replacements for people with health conditions such as

food service

Food-related businesses, including restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, and coffee shops, are looking to automation to help them work more efficiently. Robotics are being explored for use in restaurants of the future to help with food preparation and serving, e.gat the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.

Restaurants are also using IoT technology to manage delivery orders and track ingredients from initial order to arrival. Sensors allow restaurant owners to track the temperature of storage shelves and delivery trucks. You can view the entire journey to ensure all safety standards are met.

Smart appliances make cooking easier by using meat temperature sensors and set-and-forget technology so staff can maximize their time while waiting for food to cook. Kitchen automation systems can also help chefs manage time and orders by tracking what needs to be cooked or how long something has been in a hot pan.


Businesses are faced with the challenge of transporting food due to disruptions in the supply chain. With growing demand for direct-to-consumer deliveries, including restaurant and supermarket deliveries and meal packages, technology is needed to track groceries and ensure groceries are packaged and delivered safely.

Customer service

Consumers are looking for technology applications to improve their diet, find restaurants, look up recipes, and track allergy or special diet information. For example, there are apps to find restaurants that meet specific dietary requirements so consumers can avoid allergens and stick to their diet.

There are also startups working to educate people about their dietary habits and the benefits of eating right in managing chronic health conditions and other personal fitness goals.

food safety

Technology can help restaurants, grocery stores, and other food providers manage food shelf life. This includes using technology to track ingredients and verify recalls.

Some companies are turning toBlockchain technology to manage your offerDistribution. For example, a grocery store could trace a package of chicken to ensure it came from an antibiotic-free supplier.

Surplus and waste management

The technology helps reduce waste and improve sustainability in the food industry. Technology – howLeanPath-- combines software, smart scales and cameras to monitor and calculate food waste in kitchens. Staff use the scale to sort and weigh all discarded food, and the software recognizes patterns to minimize waste.

Manufacturers are turning to more sustainable packaging made from biopolymers, which can also help extend a product's shelf life. Drones and smart sensors can monitor store shelves and take real-time inventories to track product movement and shelf life.

Similar resources

Dive into the Internet of Things


The future of the food industry: food technology explained? ›

The global food tech market was worth $220.32 billion in 2019, according to Emergen Research, and is estimated to grow to $342.52 billion by 2027. Food tech is increasing food production to help reduce the rate of hunger and feed the world.

What is the future of the food tech industry? ›

Food tech definition and its rise in the food industry

The increasing application of modern technologies in food processes will move the future food tech forward. Advances in robotics, processing techniques, food delivery service apps, and data technology are offering new growth potential in the food business.

How will technology influence food transformation in the future? ›

By using tech to improve processing and packaging, it can improve the shelf life and safety of food. The use of machines in the food industry also ensures quality and affordability. By using machines, it drives down the costs of keeping the food fresh and increases productivity.

How has the food industry changed with technology? ›

Digital food safety improves food quality and helps avoid food safety disasters. Digital tools help restaurant owners serve hot, fresh food with quick temperature probes, automated temperature monitoring, and food & date labeling. Put simply, digital food safety helps restaurants be compliant and serve hot fresh food.

Why food technologies are so important in food industry? ›

ENSURING FOOD SAFETY AND FOOD SECURITY. Food science makes sure that foods meant for consumption are safe and available at all times. If you have never experienced food poisoning, you really don't want it. Once you get it, you'll never want it again.

How has new technology and increased food production led to longer life? ›

Innovations such as the steel plow and mechanized harvesting greatly increased food production. IMPACT OF THE 2ND AGRICULTURAL REV. Advances in food production led to better diets, longer life spans, and an increase in population. As population increased, so did the pool for workers in industry.

How is food going to change in the future? ›

1. What food will we be eating in 2050? By 2050, individuals will be eating cultured, or cultivated, meat, high-protein insects, seaweed, algae, and allergen-free nuts. All of this food is rich in essential vitamins and minerals and high in protein.

What is technology transformation on food? ›

What is digital transformation in the food industry? Digital transformation in the food industry pertains to the integration of digital technologies in various aspects of the food production, processing, distribution, and consumption.

How can technology improve food waste? ›

For example, Apeel is one California-based company that has introduced a new way to reduce food waste by using plant-based protective coatings to protect produce, which makes it last much longer. The layer is invisible and edible, making it safe for consumption.

What are two examples of how technology has greatly increased food production in the world? ›

Irrigation systems allow farmers to water their crops more efficiently and effectively. This means that crops can grow in areas that would otherwise be too dry to support them. Irrigation systems also allow farmers to grow crops year-round, rather than just during the rainy season.

How does the advancement in technology helped the economy? ›

It increases the efficient production of more goods and services in the organization. The new technology is codified knowledge in the form of routines and protocols. Technology helps to get enough knowledge about the use of economic resources to produce goods and services more efficiently.

How technology has improved the manufacturing process? ›

Manufacturing Technologies have also drastically improved manufacturing operations through waste elimination and making processes much more efficient - which enables manufacturers to utilizes resources to the fullest extent.

How has technology impacted nutrition globally? ›

In the food industry, innovation continues in the form of apps, blogs, social media and online services to enable consumers to be more informed about their diets and goals. For example, combating food intolerances, gaining muscle, weight management, eating more plant-based or improving digestive wellness to name a few.

How has the food industry evolved over the years? ›

In modern times, two main innovations have enabled food production to keep pace with a booming population: fertilisers and machinery. Introduced in the early 1900s, synthetic fertilisers dramatically increased crop yields, removing the need for farmers to use fallows or manure to renew the soil.

How modern technology can improve the shelf life of fresh food? ›

Driving the market forward: Howtechnology can improve fruit and vegetable shelf life. Two primary technologies in the space includecontrolled atmosphere (CA) storage and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). CAtechnology helps control oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations in storage.

How does technology affect the safety of food? ›

Technological solutions enhance food safety protocols and make it faster, more accurate, and more efficient to conduct inventory, auditing, training and keep food safe. Investing in technology is something that all food businesses should do to help boost the health and safety of their establishments.

What is the summary of food technology? ›

Food technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe food. Related fields include analytical chemistry, biotechnology, engineering, nutrition, quality control, and food safety management.

What is the food industry trend in 2023? ›

Expect 2023 to be a year of new opportunities for the food industry as inflation-driven behaviors are offset by heightened interest in food as medicine, sustainability, new food technologies, and a demand for more exciting everyday fare. Food and beverage dollar sales remain strong even as unit sales decline.

What are 3 current food trends? ›

8 California Food Trends
  • Cali-Baja style. ...
  • Evolving ramen. ...
  • Poke with a spin. ...
  • Veggies as a main dish. ...
  • Matcha mania. ...
  • Filipino fare. ...
  • Gastropubs go global. ...
  • Döner Kebab craze.

What is the problem with food in the future? ›

Overfishing, soil erosion, and depletion and deterioration of aquifers threaten food security. At the same time, food production faces increasing risks from climate change — particularly droughts, increasing frequency of storms, and other extreme weather events.

What is food forever the future of food in a changing world? ›

Food Forever incorporates a series of large-scale contemporary art installations using the medium of art to highlight a different aspect of modern food consumption or production. Danish artist Thomas Dambo brings a brand- new work to Kew for Food Forever.

How could we grow more food in the future? ›

But we could produce 50 percent more food without new farmland by increasing yields, shifting diets, and using water and fertilizer more efficiently. The livestock industry uses 75 percent of all agricultural land for grazing and growing animal feed and produces at least 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the great food transformation? ›

The 'Great Food Transformation' will require substantial dietary shifts. These include a greater than 50% reduction in global consumption of unhealthy foods, such as sugar, and a greater than 100% increase in the consumption of healthy foods, such as nuts, fruits and vegetables.

How technology is elevating the food and beverage industry? ›

Over the years, food manufacturers and restaurants have embraced technology to enhance productivity, efficiency, food quality, and customer experiences. Popular technologies revolutionizing the food and beverage industry include 3D printing, data analytics, precision agriculture, GMOs, and robotics.

How is digital technology used in the food industry? ›

Digital technology can transform the food and beverage industry by improving operational efficiency, enhancing customer experience, and increasing transparency. It can automate processes, optimize supply chain management, and provide data insights for better decision-making.

Can technology solve food crisis? ›

Simulation software can help mitigate the effects of disruptions in food supply chains, optimize logistics operations, and produce better crop yields. These are important steps for sustainable agriculture, global hunger decrease, and the improvement of people's well-being across the world.

What is a current technology being worked on in the food industry? ›

Food innovations are using robots, GPS technology, and smartphone apps to improve food production processes.

What technology has the greatest impact on food security? ›

The technologies that will have the largest impact on agricultural productivity in the next 10 years include the use of existing genetically modified crops, soil and water management, pest control, and post-harvest processing.

What are five ways science and technology have expanded the food supply? ›

What are some ways science and technology has expanded the food supply? Genetic engineering, cloning, enrichment, fortification, etc. What are some packaging systems that keep food from spoiling? M.A.P., aseptic, retort, etc.

How technology will affect us in the future? ›

Advances in digital technologies hold considerable potential to lift the trajectory of productivity and economic growth, and to create new and better jobs to replace old ones. As much as two-thirds of potential productivity growth in major economies over the next decade could be related to the new digital technologies.

How technology will improve our lives in the future? ›

From communication and transport to healthcare and connectivity, technology has enhanced our lives for the better. The best part is that it is ever-evolving by facilitating more advanced features. For instance, we have come far from traditional audio calls to instant messaging and facetime.

What is the future of technology? ›

Advances in AI, machine learning, robotics, and other technologies have increased the pace of change tenfold. By 2025, we estimate that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), while 70 percent of manufacturers are expected to be using digital twins regularly (by 2022).

What three impacts have come from better food production technologies? ›

Benefits include: Higher crop productivity. Decreased use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides, which in turn keeps food prices down. Reduced impact on natural ecosystems.

What is the scope of food technology in USA? ›

Career Opportunities After Masters in Food Science and Technology in USA
Job ProfileAverage Salary
Food Inspector56,164 USD
Food Policy Analyst50,413 USD
Food Safety Engineer65,420 USD
Food Science Manager53,085 USD
2 more rows

How big is the food tech industry? ›

Report Description. The global food tech market size was valued at USD 233.6 Billion in 2021 and is expected to surpass USD 385.7 Billion by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period, 2022–2030.

How technology improve product quality? ›

Manufacturing technology is normally used to instill quality in the product and is considered useful when it (i) predicts product quality from operating conditions, (ii) derives better operating conditions which can improve the product quality, and (iii) detects faults or malfunctions in the process and/or equipments ...

How technology has improved performance? ›

Since technology can take over a lot of other tasks, your team can concentrate more and have longer periods of uninterrupted work. That primarily enables them to become more productive.

How does technology change production? ›

Improved productivity and efficiency due to technological change, have a positive effect on the cost of production. More productivity means more output per input and more efficiency means that the output is achieved with less cost of production. Hence, the overall cost of production decreases.

How technology is changing the fast food industry? ›

Digital food safety improves food quality and helps avoid food safety disasters. Digital tools help restaurant owners serve hot, fresh food with quick temperature probes, automated temperature monitoring, and food & date labeling. Put simply, digital food safety helps restaurants be compliant and serve hot fresh food.

What is the future of Food Science? ›

In the view of food processing and food science/technology concept, improved food safety and quality assurance with productivity with applied simulation, artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches (in addition to the use if IoT and big data usage) are expected in the near future.

Is there a demand for food scientists in the future? ›

Food scientist salary and job outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in agriculture and food science is expected to grow by 23% between 2021 and 2031, which is faster than average for all occupations. The BLS projects this growth to result in 4,100 new jobs per year over the decade.

What is the future of food delivery 2030? ›

Demand for Groceries Surpasses a Gourmet Meal

Interestingly enough, while meal delivery increased at a higher rate during the pandemic, it's actually grocery delivery that will grow more rapidly in the coming years, reaching two-thirds of all food deliveries by 2030.

Is the tech industry expected to grow? ›

The U.S. tech industry was estimated to reach a market value of $1.8 trillion by the end of 2022. There were 264,500 tech industry jobs added to the market in 2022. The U.S. tech market accounts for 35% of the total world market. The U.S. tech industry is expected to grow by 5.4% in 2023.

Is the food service industry growing? ›

The global food service market size was valued at USD 2,323.29 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 2,540.05 billion in 2022 to USD 5,194.60 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.76% during the forecast period.

What will happen to food in the future? ›

1. What food will we be eating in 2050? By 2050, individuals will be eating cultured, or cultivated, meat, high-protein insects, seaweed, algae, and allergen-free nuts. All of this food is rich in essential vitamins and minerals and high in protein.

What does the future hold for food? ›

In 2020, as many as 811 million people worldwide didn't have enough to eat, and Earth's population is projected to grow by another 2 billion in the next 30 years. Experts project we'll need to produce as much as 56% more food to feed everyone, but we can't do that sustainably without some major changes.

What will food be like in 2040? ›

On the way to 2040, lowering global emissions has meant radically changing our diets, including the balance of protein on Western plates (and for the emerging middle classes globally). We now eat a greater proportion of plant protein and less meat and dairy, produced in ways that have lower environmental impacts.

What is the biggest threat to future food security? ›

The rapid expansion of the world's population combined with the effects of global warming are the perfect recipe for a disaster. Climate change and its consequences heightened competition for the already limited resources of our planet such as land, food, and water.

Will we be fighting for food in 2050? ›

According to estimates compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), by 2050 we will need to produce 60 per cent more food to feed a world population of 9.3 billion. Doing that with a farming-as-usual approach would take too heavy a toll on our natural resources.

What is trending in technology in 2023? ›

New Technology Trends 2023 :

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Edge Computing. Quantum Computing. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

What industry is growing the fastest? ›

Fastest growing industries within leisure and hospitality

According to the BLS fastest growing occupations report, some of the fast growing occupations within this segment for 2021-31 by percent of employment change, include: Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers (40.5%)

What is happening in the tech industry 2023? ›

In 2023, layoffs have yet again cost tens of thousands of tech workers their jobs; this time, the workforce reductions have been driven by the biggest names in tech like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, Meta and Zoom. Startups, too, have announced cuts across all sectors, from crypto to enterprise SaaS.

How is the food industry growing? ›

Key factors that are driving the U.S. packaged food market growth include hectic work schedules, changing lifestyles, rising preference for convenience, escalating expansion of e-commerce, and increasing product innovations across the country.

What is the fastest growing segment of the food industry today? ›

Aquaculture, after all, is the fastest growing food sector in the world, and America can and should be a leader in seafood production.

What is the outlook of the food delivery industry? ›

Revenue in the Online Food Delivery market is projected to reach US$1.02tn in 2023. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 12.67%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$1.65tn by 2027.


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