Top 10 Food Technology Innovations & Trends for 2022 and Beyond


Opening up of the HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant, Café) industry after the peak Coronavirus period is benefitting stakeholders in the food technology and innovations industry. Food businesses are increasing efforts to strike the right balance of creativity and science to meet taste palettes of foodies whilst aligning their business to a circular economy. But do food businesses need constant improvement for technological innovations? Let’s find out!

Top 10 food technology trends that are revolutionizing the market landscape can be illustrated as follows:

  1. Food Safety & Transparency

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of food safety and transparency. Blockchain holds promising potentials to enable food safety by tracking how food products travel from farm to the customer’s table.

2. Veganism

Researchers in the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, are developing plant-based cheese that stretches and melts through prolamin technology. Innovations are underway for extrudable fat technology that mimics animal fat in plant-based meats and allows for more authentic fat textures, such as marbling.

3. Alternative Proteins

Following suit for vegan food, alternative protein product manufacturers are drawing innovations in plant-based meat, lab-grown meat and edible insects amongst other items. Microbial based protein is grabbing the attention of consumers since it is derived from the dried cells of micro-organisms such as yeasts, microalgae and fungi.

4. Nutraceuticals

Though nutraceuticals are storming the health and fitness industry, there is a need for ready & near-market platform technologies for processing ingredients like proteins, fibers & probiotics into marketable value-added functional food & nutraceutical products.

5. 3D Food Printers

3D (3 Dimensional) food printing is a breakthrough innovation in the food technology industry and is expected to grab the attention of the Gen Z population that opt for Instagram-friendly pictures of food items.

6. Personalized Nutrition

Mobile apps are emerging as one of the best strategy to facilitate personalized nutrition for individuals in need of weight loss and weight gain. Customized diet plans help individuals of different age group and ethnicity to align with their fitness goals.

7. Food Wastage Reduction

The FoodCloud social enterprise app is gaining recognition for allowing food businesses to upload information about their stock whilst alerting charities to collect and distribute any surplus.

8. Restaurant Digitization

Paperless menus and collection of consumer data are key restaurant digitization trends. Food product merchandizing through eCommerce and hyper-local food delivery apps are propelling growth in the landscape of food technology & innovations in 2022.

9. Robotics

Food serving robots and robots for food manufacturing are bringing a sea change in the food technology industry. Right from agriculture stages to restaurants, grocery stores and home cooking, food robots are being programmed to help with food cultivation & production tasks.

10. Plastic-free & Smart Packaging

Since sustainability has become one of the most overused words in any industry, manufacturers are designing plastic-free and smart packaging solutions that are suitable for high temperature food items. They are innovating in realistic plastic alternatives like bioplastics that are both biodegradable and non-biodegradable.

Above takeaways indicate that the market of food technology & innovations is projected to advance at an astonishing CAGR in 2022 and the upcoming decade.

Technology Makeover: A Global Industry Outlook for 2022

A holistic approach at some of the biggest trends in technology

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way the global society functions, technological innovations are anticipated to grow in 2022. But are industries able to keep up with this shift in new technological trends? Let us look at four game-changing technological innovations that will help to increase bottom lines.

Opportunities for long-term business growth

As the world is witnessing a sea change where Facebook has renamed itself as Meta, early adopters of new technologies tend to gain a competitive edge over other market players. Advancements in machine learning, automation and robotics are helping to accelerate business processes.

Despite the influx of new technologies, stakeholders from various industries like healthcare, information technology and BFSI of developing economies are experiencing a technological gap due to the lack of resources. This indicates that tech giants hold untapped revenue opportunities in developing countries since mature and developed economies are nearing a saturation point, where innovation becomes a key differentiator.

Here are key insights about specific technologies that play a fundamental role in business success for 2022:

  • Cloud and the hybrid workforce: As increasing number of businesses demand transparency, flexibility and convenience, the hybrid workforce is taking new forms in both MNCs and SMEs. The adoption of Microsoft Teams has been a prominent trend in this space. Thus, increasing number of businesses are making sure that employees are enabled and empowered to have successful work-at-home and in-office productivity.
  • Sustainability acts as value addition: Businesses are going beyond suit and tie to bolster their credibility credentials. The pandemic has spurred additional interest in ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing. This means, commitment to the ESG model translates into not just business stability, but also greater social equality and inclusion of communities.
  • Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) helps in business leap: Seamless communication, security of IT systems and scalable business models to name a few are helping in greater adoption of XaaS to enhance operational efficiencies.
  • Resilient supply chains: Since the pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of most businesses, sourcing alternative supply partners is emerging as a winning strategy. Digitalization of processes is delivering cost efficiency in supply chain management.

Despite technological gap in most industries, investment in training of company executives, technicians and operators with job security holds promising potentials to overcome technology adoption challenges in 2022.

How hydrophilic polymers can help build a greener future

Two British universities at Bristol and Surrey have seen researchers work on new-age technologies that are used to store carbon-free renewable energy, derived from natural sources like wind and sun.

Those working in the Department of Chemistry at Surrey have collaborated with two professors working from Bristol, namely Mr Ian Hamerton and Mr David Fermin, along with a company based out of the Surrey Research Park called Superdielectrics Ltd. in formulating a process that would convert hydrophilic polymers to enhance another important storage process.

In 2001, Dr Donald Highgate, based out of the University of Surrey, successfully transformed polymers that seemed like a contact lens into ion-conducted membranes to develop a highly-effective electrolyser that would break water into its two components- hydrogen and oxygen. This paved the way for the formation of the first storage technology device, which relied on hydrophilic polymers.

Cut to the present day. A team headed by Dr Brendan Howlin from the Department of Chemistry in Surrey have collaborated with Superdielectrics and the University of Bristol to lead the work in the formation of supercapacitors that rely on a modified version of hydrophilic polymer technology.

The innovations in hydrophilic polymers are the reason for the development of advanced supercapacitors that can help charge electric cars quickly.

Lithium-ion batteries have been more efficient than their predecessors, but still have their disadvantages that do not help bring down carbon emissions. Also, these batteries rely on weather conditions to function effectively.

Supercapacitors have no such drawbacks. It does not rely on temperatures and captures energy as an electric field. During their research, the personnel at the University of Surrey who played a role in the development of hydrophilic polymers realised that these could store electricity as well. Continuous research on this front is still ongoing.

Supercapacitors could also play an important role in tackling climate change in future but some research in that regard remains.

Blockchain Technology could enable secure communications for robotic applications

If a group of autonomous drones is equipped with advanced sensing equipment to search to fly above the Sierra Nevada Mountains how would it appear? If the drones group spots a wildfire, the leader robots have a sway for directions on a swarm of firefighting drones that propel to the location of the blaze.

How if one or more lead robots was hacked by a malicious agent and began transmitting incorrect directions? This would lead follower robots to be lead farther from the fire to become difficult for them to know if they have been misled.

Meanwhile, the use of blockchain technology as a communication instrument for a team of robots could extend security and safeguard against breach, according to researchers at MIT and Polytechnic University, Madrid. The research is also likely to have applications in multirobot systems of self driving cars to deliver goods ad move people across towns.

In fact, a blockchain provides a tamper-resistant record of all transactions. For example, in this case it is the message issued by robot team leaders so that followers can eventually detect inconsistencies in the information string.

For practical purposes, leaders use tokens for signal of movements and add transaction to the chain. This is also to forfeit the tokens if caught in a lie so that the transaction-based communication system puts a limit on the number of lies a hacked robot could transmit, according to the lead author of the paper.

Beyond the discourse, the world of blockchain about cryptocurrency has many things under the hood that can create novel ways of fabricating security protocols.

By function, typically, a blockchain is used as a secure ledger for cryptocurrencies, it is a list of data structures in its essence. The objective of each block is to store information that is meant to be stored.