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Future foods: Alternative proteins, food architecture, sustainable packaging, and precision nutrition

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There are numerous challenges facing the modern food and agriculture industry that urgently need to be addressed, including feeding a growing global population, mitigating and adapting to climate change, decreasing pollution, waste, and biodiversity loss, and ensuring that people remain healthy. At the same time, foods should be safe, affordable, convenient, and delicious. The latest developments in science and technology are being deployed to address these issues. Some of the most important elements within this modern food design approach are encapsulated by the MATCHING model: Meat-reduced; Automation; Technology-driven; Consumer-centric; Healthy; Intelligent; Novel; and Globalization. In this review article, we focus on four key aspects that will be important for the creation of a new generation of healthier and more sustainable foods: emerging raw materials; structural design principles for creating innovative products; developments in eco-friendly packaging; and precision nutrition and customized production of foods. We also highlight some of the most important new developments in science and technology that are being used to create future foods, including food architecture, synthetic biology, nanoscience, and sensory perception.
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Future foods: Alternative proteins, food
architecture, sustainable packaging, and precision
nutrition
Fuguo Liu, Moting Li, Qiankun Wang, Jun Yan, Shuang Han, Cuicui Ma,
Peihua Ma, Xuebo Liu & David Julian McClements
To cite this article: Fuguo Liu, Moting Li, Qiankun Wang, Jun Yan, Shuang Han, Cuicui Ma,
Peihua Ma, Xuebo Liu & David Julian McClements (2022): Future foods: Alternative proteins, food
architecture, sustainable packaging, and precision nutrition, Critical Reviews in Food Science and
Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2022.2033683
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2022.2033683
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Published online: 25 Feb 2022.
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REVIEW
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION
Future foods: Alternative proteins, food architecture, sustainable packaging,
and precision nutrition
Fuguo Liua , Moting Lia, Qiankun Wanga, Jun Yana, Shuang Hana, Cuicui Maa, Peihua Mab, Xuebo Liua
and David Julian McClementsc
aCollege of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, PR China; bDepartment of Nutrition and Food
Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA; cDepartment of Food Science,
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA
ABSTRACT
There are numerous challenges facing the modern food and agriculture industry that urgently need
to be addressed, including feeding a growing global population, mitigating and adapting to climate
change, decreasing pollution, waste, and biodiversity loss, and ensuring that people remain healthy.
At the same time, foods should be safe, affordable, convenient, and delicious. The latest developments
in science and technology are being deployed to address these issues. Some of the most important
elements within this modern food design approach are encapsulated by the MATCHING model:
Meat-reduced; Automation; Technology-driven; Consumer-centric; Healthy; Intelligent; Novel; and
Globalization. In this review article, we focus on four key aspects that will be important for the
creation of a new generation of healthier and more sustainable foods: emerging raw materials;
structural design principles for creating innovative products; developments in eco-friendly packaging;
and precision nutrition and customized production of foods. We also highlight some of the most
important new developments in science and technology that are being used to create future foods,
including food architecture, synthetic biology, nanoscience, and sensory perception.
1. Introduction
Population growth, pollution, climate change, environmental
stress, biodiversity loss, and increases in diet-related diseases
pose a series of severe challenges to society as a whole, and
to the modern food industry in particular. The global popu-
lation is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050 (Chapman
et al. 2021) and all these people need to be fed without dam-
aging the environment. In addition, climate change is causing
severe challenges to the production of foods, as well as to life
in general. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from
human activities have been identified as a major contributor
to global warming (Tian etal. 2016), and agriculture and food
production is an appreciable source of these emissions (Sims
et al. 2015). The need to produce more foods is also putting
pressure on land and water use, as well as causing an appre-
ciable loss in biodiversity, especially due to deforestation
(Calicioglu et al. 2019). There are also concerns about the
quantity and quality of foods that humans are consuming on
their health. In particular, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and
other chronic diseases linked to overeating and poor food
quality are on the rise around the world (Verma 2017).
Consequently, there is a need to sustainably produce more
high quality foods to ensure a healthy planet and a growing
global population.
Food safety and waste is another major issue facing the
modern food industry, as ingredients and foods are pro-
duced around the world and then transported to shops,
restaurants, and institutions (Meybeck and Gitz 2017). It is
critical that the food industry has appropriate protocols and
methods to prevent the contamination of foods with harmful
chemicals and microorganisms, to remove or inactivate
them, and to reliably detect their presence.
There is also growing interest in changing the types of
foods that are consumed so as to improve the sustainability
and healthiness of the food supply. For instance, many
researchers in academia, government, and industry are
trying to replace protein-rich animal products, such as
those derived from meat, fish, eggs, and milk, with alter-
native sources of proteins, such as those produced by
plants, insects, microbial fermentation, or cell cultures
(McClements 2020a). This change in dietary habits could
have important benefits in terms of reducing GHG pro-
duction, pollution, land use, water use, and biodiversity
loss (Parodi etal. 2018). Nevertheless, it is important that
foods created from these alternative protein sources are
healthy. The macronutrient composition of a number of
these alternative protein sources is comparable to those
found in animal-derived foods (Figure 1). However, it is
also important to consider other aspects, such as the types
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
CONTACT David Julian McClements mcclements@foodsci.umass.edu; Xuebo Liu xueboliu@nwsuaf.edu.cn
Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2022.2033683.
This article has been corrected with minor changes. These changes do not impact the academic content of the article.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2022.2033683
KEYWORDS
Future foods;
nanotechnology;
structural design;
sustainability
2 F. LIU ETAL.
and concentrations of vitamins and minerals present, as
well as their digestibility. Moreover, it is essential that food
products made from alternative proteins are affordable,
convenient, and delicious or consumers will not purchase
them. Researchers are therefore using advanced technolo-
gies to create plant-based foods that have structures and
compositions that mimic the look, feel, and taste of tra-
ditional animal-derived foods, such as meat, fish, eggs,
and dairy products. For instance, soft matter physics, extru-
sion, spinning, and cutting technologies are being used to
convert plant ingredients into products with meat-like
qualities, while cell culture methods are being used to
grow muscle tissues in fermentation tanks from cells cul-
tivated from living animals.
Food architecture and structural design approaches are
being utilized to create foods that look, feel, and taste like
conventional processed foods but have lower levels of fat,
sugar, and salt, thereby increasing their healthiness
(McClements 2020a). Another major problem associated
with the modern food supply is the quantity of food that
is either spoiled or wasted. It has been estimated that around
one-third of the food produced globally is currently lost,
which means that all of the resources used to produce it
are also wasted (Ishangulyyev, Kim, and Lee 2019).
Consequently, many researchers are working to identify
effective approaches to reduce the amount of food lost or
wasted, as well as in converting food waste streams into
valuable functional ingredients (Augustin et al. 2020).
Researchers are also developing new approaches to replace
petroleum-based materials known to contribute to pollution
and global warming with more environmentally friendly and
sustainable alternatives (Naser, Deiab, and Darras 2021). For
instance, scientists are creating food packaging materials
from film-forming food components (such as proteins, poly-
saccharides, and lipids) to replace traditional petroleum-based
plastic packaging (Dhall 2013). Moreover, they are creating
innovative packaging materials with novel properties, such
as active and smart packaging materials, that can extend
the shelf life and ensure food quality and safety (Chen etal.
2021; Biji et al. 2015).
There is growing evidence that different people require
different kinds of food to remain healthy, which has led
to the concept of personalized or precision nutrition where
foods are designed for specific individuals or groups of
people, e.g., infants, the elderly, athletes, or those prone to
specific chronic diseases (Toro-Martín etal. 2017). Databases
are being developed that relate people’s genetics, epigenetics,
microbiomes, metabolomes, and biometrics to their health
status. This information is then being utilized to tailor
dietary recommendations to an individuals’ specific nutri-
tional needs.
Some of the most important trends in modern food
research and development are captured in the acronym
MATCHING: Meat-reduced; Automation; Technology-driven;
Consumer-centric; Healthy; Intelligent; Novel; Globalization
(Figure 2). A number of these areas are discussed in the
current review article, so as to highlight the important sci-
entific and technological advances that are being deployed
to improve the healthiness and sustainability of the modern
food supply.
Figure 1. Comparison of the macronutrient contents of various kinds of foods. Protein, fat, and carbohydrate contents are reported as g/100 g of dry weight.
ASF: animal-source foods, PSF: plant-source foods. Data sources: Rapeseed press cake data were extracted from Mattila et al. (2018); microalgae data was
extracted from Torres-Tiji, Fields, and Mayeld (2020); insect data was extracted from Feng et al. (2018); other data was extracted from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (see Supplementary Table 1 for a list of data sources).
Figure 2. The MATCHING model highlights eight important areas where
research is being carried out to improve the modern food system.
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 3
2. Alternative protein sources
2.1. Animal-derived proteins
Typically, as people become wealthier, they increase the
amount of animal-derived proteins in their diet, such as
those that come from meat, fish, eggs, and milk. However,
the rearing of animals for food has been shown to be a
major contributor to greenhouse gas production, pollution,
land use, water use, and biodiversity loss (Willett et al.
2019). Moreover, the consumption of some animal-derived
foods has been linked to the prevalence of certain kinds
of chronic diseases, the close contact of humans and live-
stock may increase the risks of the transmission of zoonotic
diseases, such as viruses like the one that has led to the
COVID-19 pandemic (but further research is still required
to ascertain the origin of this particular viral disease).
Finally, there are concerns about animal welfare associated
with the rearing of livestock for food, with billions of
animals being confined and slaughtered every year.
Consequently, there has been growing interest from many
consumers in replacing animal-derived proteins with those
derived from alternative sources, such as plants, insects,
fungi, and other microbes (Karmaus and Jones 2021). As
shown in Figure 3, reducing the amount of animals con-
sumed for foods could have important environmental
benefits.
2.2. Alternative protein sources
2.2.1. Edible insects
Insects are an abundant, affordable, and sustainable source
of proteins and other nutrients (da Silva Lucas etal. 2020).
More than one million species of insects have already been
identified, but millions more still remain to be discovered.
Around two thousand species of insects are considered to
be edible, and this number is likely to grow in the future
(Ordoñez-Araque and Egas-Montenegro 2021).
Nutritional profiles. Many edible insects have nutritional
profiles that can meet human demands for calories,
proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. The proteins in
edible insects are an abundant source of the essential
amino acids necessary for the normal development and
functioning of humans, including lysine, tryptophan,
tyrosine and phenylalanine (Ordoñez-Araque and
Egas-Montenegro 2021). Edible insects are also rich
in monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fatty
acids, and contain adequate levels of many vitamins
(including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic
acid) and minerals (including Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, P, Se,
Zn) (Rumpold and Schlüter 2013). In vitro studies have
shown that protein digestibility varies between about
67% and 98% among different insects, and that the
bioavailability of trace minerals (e.g., Fe, Ca, and Zn)
in edible insects is similar or higher to beef (Parodi
et al. 2018).
Sustainability. Compared to traditional livestock, insects
are more ecient at converting feed into valuable source
of proteins. Moreover, they can be fed materials that
would otherwise be considered waste. e production
of edible insects for food requires less water and land
than traditional livestock, as well as producing fewer
GHG emissions and pollution (Ordoñez-Araque and
Egas-Montenegro 2021; Halloran et al. 2016). Overall,
the rearing of insects for food is more sustainable than
the rearing of livestock, such as cows, pigs, sheep, and
chicken.
Safety. Many, but not all, species of insects are safe for
consumption by most humans. However, some naturally
contain substances that are toxic to humans and should
therefore not be eaten. In addition, a fraction of people
have allergies to the proteins found in some edible insects,
which can cause adverse health eects (Imathiu 2020).
For instance, the consumption of silkworms, cicada,
crickets, wasps, locusts or bedbugs has been shown
Figure 3. Dependence of greenhouse gas (GHG) production (a) and land use (b) on dierent protein sources. See Supplementary Table 2 for a list of data
sources.
4 F. LIU ETAL.
to induce hypersensitivity in some people (Tang et al.
2019). Insects may also be contaminated with harmful
chemicals (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, or fungal toxins)
or organisms (e.g., pathogenic microbes or parasites)
(Imathiu 2020). It is dicult to control the diet of wild-
type insects and so they are more prone to this kind of
contamination (Gravel and Doyen 2020). It is therefore
important to carry out systematic studies of the allergens
and contaminants present in dierent kinds of species to
better understand any potential health risks associated
with their widespread consumption.
Acceptability.Another potential hurdle to the widespread
adoption of insects as foods is their consumer
acceptability, especially in many Western countries.
Over two billion people around the world currently
eat insects as a natural part of their diet. However,
in many developed countries, people are reluctant to
eat insects due to food neophobia and disgust (Gravel
and Doyen 2020). Food neophobia is the fear of trying
new or unusual foods (Onwezen et al. 2021). This
phenomenon is likely to decrease over time as people,
especially younger and more adventurous consumers,
become more familiar with novel foods, such as insect-
based ones. Even so, acquaintance with insect foods does
not necessarily mean that people will actually desire or
like them (Barbera et al. 2018). It will be important
to create insect-based food products that consumers
find desirable, which means carefully controlling their
appearance, texture, mouthfeel, and flavor (Gravel and
Doyen 2020; Mishyna, Chen, and Benjamin 2020). For
this reason, many researchers are trying to incorporate
insects as functional or nutritional ingredients into
traditional foods, such as breads, biscuits, spaghetti,
hamburgers, and sausages, rather than serving them
whole. This approach increases the nutritional value
and sustainability of foods, while still presenting them
in a form that consumers are comfortable consuming
(Melgar-Lalanne et al. 2019). Information about the
sustainability and environmental benefits of consuming
insects instead of meat or fish may also motivate more
consumers to try them and incorporate them into their
diet.
In summary, edible insects are likely to be an important
source of protein-rich foods in the future. For this reason,
many researchers and companies are optimizing the
large-scale breeding and production of edible insects, as well
as developing innovative processing technologies to turn
them into foods or food ingredients (Feng etal. 2018). The
commercial success of edible insects will also depend on
establishing global regulations about their production and
consumption, as well as overcoming neophobia and disgust
in many countries (Baiano 2020).
2.2.2. Microalgae
Many species of algae are nutritious foods that are suitable
for large-scale and sustainable production, with yields that
can surpass those of many plants. However, only a few
species of microalgae are generally recognized as safe
(GRAS) food ingredients by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in the United States, such as
Arthrospira platensis, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii,
Auxenochlorella protothecoides, Chlorella vulgaris, Dunaliella
bardawil, and Euglena gracilis. (Torres-Tiji, Fields, and
Mayfield 2020).
Nutritional proles. e majority of algae with GRAS
status (with the exception of Chlorella gracilis) contain
all the essential amino acids required for human
wellbeing and growth, making them a complete protein
source (Torres-Tiji, Fields, and Mayeld 2020). Algae
also contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids,
including two of the most important omega-3 fatty
acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic
acid (DHA). ey also contain bioactive carbohydrates,
such as algal polysaccharides, that have been reported to
exhibit anticancer, anticoagulant, and cholesterol-lowering
activities (Matos et al. 2017) and antioxidants (such as
carotenoids, chlorophyll, phycobiliproteins, and other
pigments) (Fernández etal. 2021).
Sustainability. Compared to livestock production,
microalgae production is considerably more sustainable.
For instance, it has been reported that the production of
microalgae proteins requires much less land and water
resources and produces much less CO2 emissions than
the production of the same quantity of beef proteins
(Fernández et al. 2021). The environmental impact
of microalgae production can be reduced by using
hydrolyzed food waste as a carbon source, making it one
of the most sustainable protein sources (Kusmayadi etal.
2021). rough CO2 xation, microalgae converts solar
energy into chemical energy, which occurs at an eciency
that has been reported to be 10 times higher than
terrestrial plants (Sathasivam et al. 2019). Importantly,
the bio-xation of CO2 by microalgae can contribute to
a reduction in atmospheric GHG levels (de Morais etal.
2019), which may be an important strategy for reducing
global warming.
In summary, microalgae is expected to be another
important source of sustainable protein-rich foods in the
future, which has considerable potential for addressing food
security and environmental issues (Kusmayadi et al. 2021).
The quantity and composition of microalgae produced
depends on many factors, including temperature, light expo-
sure, pH, mineral concentrations, CO2 supply, population
density, growing phase, and algal type (Gouveia et al. 2008).
Consequently, these parameters must be optimized to
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 5
economically produce protein-rich microalgae ingredients
on a commercial scale. In addition, it is important that
microalgae-based foods are created that consumers find
appealing to eat (Torres-Tiji, Fields, and Mayfield 2020).
Consequently, further research is required to optimize the
large-scale production of edible microalgae with the required
yields, nutritional contents, and sensory attributes for com-
mercial applications.
2.2.3. Plant proteins
Plant proteins are one of the most affordable and sustain-
able alternatives to animal proteins for feeding a growing
global population. For this reason, there has been great
interest in utilizing them to create a new generation of
foods that will help to alleviate the environmental prob-
lems associated with producing animal proteins (Alves and
Tavares 2019). Plant proteins can be isolated from a broad
range of botanical species, including legumes, cereals,
pseudo-cereals, and algae (Sá, Moreno, and Carciofi 2020).
Plant proteins exhibit a broad range of functional attributes
that make them suitable for constructing plant-based foods
(such as gelling, emulsifying, thickening, binding, and
water holding), as well as having good nutritional profiles
(Sá, Moreno, and Carciofi 2020). However, they have dis-
tinctly different molecular structures than animal ones,
which means that innovative formulation strategies are
required when using them to create analogs of
animal-derived foods, such as meat, fish, egg, and milk
(Loveday 2020; McClements and Grossmann 2021a;
McClements and Grossmann 2021b). For instance, plant
proteins tend to be relatively large globular proteins that
are often present as supramolecular clusters, whereas many
important animal proteins have different structures: small
globular proteins (such as β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin,
or ovalbumin); small flexible proteins (such as casein and
gelatin); long rigid rods (such as collagen); or a part of
complex fibrous bundles (such as actin and myosin).
Consequently, innovative structural design, soft matter
physics, and processing approaches a required to coax
plant proteins into structures that resemble those found
in animal products.
Legumes. Functional plant proteins are commonly isolated
from legumes, such as peas, chickpeas, peanuts, soybeans,
black beans, lima beans, and kidney beans. ese proteins
are typically moderately to highly digestible and it has
been reported that their digestion rates exceed those of
beef proteins under some circumstances (Semba et al.
2021). Soybeans are the most widely cultivated legume
crop and are rich in the essential amino acids required
by humans. In contrast, most other species of legumes
contain relatively low quantities of essential sulfur-
containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine), and
sometimes lack other essential amino acids, such as
tryptophan (Semba etal. 2021). For this reason, legumes
(which lack methionine and cysteine) are oen combined
with cereals (which lack lysine) to provide meals with
a more balanced essential amino acid prole, e.g., rice
and beans (Sozer etal. 2015; Semba etal. 2021; Duranti
2006). Another potential challenge for formulating foods
with legumes is that they may contain anti-nutritional
factors (ANFs), such as tannins, protease inhibitors, and
phytic acids, which may inhibit macronutrient digestion
or reduce mineral bioavailability, thereby decreasing their
nutritional value (Sozer et al. 2015; Semba et al. 2021).
is problem can oen be overcome by boiling, baking,
fermenting, or germinating legumes to eliminate the
majority of anti-nutritional factors (Rehman and Shah
2005; Ohanenye etal. 2020). e production of legumes
requires less water than many other agricultural crops,
less nitrogen-based fertilizers because of their ability to
x nitrogen, and may improve carbon sequestration in
the soil due to their ability to absorb CO2 (Conti et al.
2021). us, legume proteins are a good environmentally
sustainable alternative to animal proteins.
Cereals. Cereals are important agricultural crops that
are used as staple foods by humans around the world,
including corn, rice, and wheat (Sá, Moreno, and Carcio
2020; Shewry and Halford 2002). Cereal proteins are rich
in sulfur-containing amino acids, but contain lack lysine,
threonine and tryptophane, which means their essential
amino acid proles are complementary to those of legume
proteins (Schweiggert-Weisz etal. 2020). Cereals naturally
contain a number of other nutritional components
that are benecial to human health, such as dietary
bers, antioxidants, plant sterols, and other bioactive
phytochemicals, but the majority of these constituents
are concentrated in the outer layers (hulls and bran) and
embryos of the grains (Galanakis 2018). During cereal
processing, many of these parts of the plant are discarded,
which results in a decrease in their nutritional quality.
Protein-rich fractions can be isolated from cereals and
then used as functional ingredients in foods. Some of the
most common proteins found in cereals are prolamins
and glutelin (Kawakatsu and Takaiwa 2010). Prolamins
(like zein from corn) are hydrophobic proteins that are
commonly used to formulate plant-based foods, such as
meat analogs, due to their ability to form brous-like
structures (Mattice and Marangoni 2020). Compared with
other cereals, oats are richer in proteins, and the contents
and quality of amino acids are equivalent to soybean
proteins (Henchion etal. 2017). Oat proteins are nding
increasing utilization in the development of plant-based
dairy and meat analogs (Schweiggert-Weisz et al. 2020).
Pseudo-cereals.Unlike traditional cereals, pseudo-cereals,
such as buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa, do not contain
gluten. However, they are rich in proteins, and their
amino acid proles and nutritional characteristics are
6 F. LIU ETAL.
higher than traditional cereals (Alvarez-Jubete, Arendt,
and Gallagher 2010). Moreover, lysine is not a restricting
essential amino acid in pseudo-cereals, which makes
them useful as a dietary supplement to cereals (Sá,
Moreno, and Carcio 2020). Pseudo-cereals also exhibit
low allergenicity because they do not contain gluten,
which is advantageous for formulating food products for
individuals who suer from gluten sensitivities (Mota
et al. 2016).
Processing byproducts.e byproducts and waste streams
of the food and agricultural industries are being explored
as a potential source of plant proteins so as to increase
the sustainability and protability of the food system.
Rapeseed meal (a byproduct of rapeseed oil extraction)
contains 40% proteins and is rich in lysine, methionine,
and cysteine, and therefore has a high nutritional value
(Semba et al. 2021). Sunower meal (a byproduct of
sunower oil extraction) is another major source of
proteins (González-Pérez and Vereijken 2010) that
is rich in sulfur-containing amino acids (Sara et al.
2020). It has been used to fortify various kinds of
food products, including meat, dairy, infant, and baked
products (González-Pérez and Vereijken 2010). However,
the development of sunower meal as a protein source
is limited because it contains relatively high levels of
phenolic compounds, especially chlorogenic acid, which
reduces its functionality (González-Pérez and Vereijken
2010). Salgado et al. (Salgado et al. 2012) successfully
obtained protein concentrates from sunower meal that
contained reduced levels of phenolic compounds and
exhibited high water solubility and good antioxidant
activity. Similarly, researchers have developed an extraction
process to obtain sunower albumin ingredients that had
reduced levels of chlorogenic acid, phytic acid, and other
antinutritional factors (Sara et al. 2020). Studies have
shown that sunower proteins can be used as functional
ingredients in infant formula, powdered milks, milk
substitutes, baked products, spreads, and salads (Sozer
et al. 2015).
2.2.4. Cellular agriculture proteins
Another source of alternative proteins that is likely to
become increasingly important in the future is cellular agri-
culture. Advances in biotechnology are enabling food and
ingredient companies to use different kinds of microbes
(such as yeast and bacteria) to synthesize proteins and other
high-value food ingredients (Figure 4). Typically, the
microbes are kept in a fermentation tank under optimized
conditions that stimulate their growth and multiplication,
such as temperature, oxygen, light, pH, and nutrient levels.
The microbes may excrete the proteins, or they may be
disrupted to release the proteins, which can then be isolated
and purified. Modern biotechnology approaches can be used
to engineer microbes to produce a wide range of food pro-
teins from animal, plant, or microbial sources. This approach
is being used to create milk, egg, and meat proteins that
have never been in an animal. Fermentation approaches can
also be used to grow whole microorganisms that can be
used as protein-rich alternatives to animal products, such
as the filamentous microfungi (Fusarium venenatum) used
in Quorn products.
3. Food architecture: Structural design of novel
foods
The physicochemical properties, sensory attributes, and gas-
trointestinal fate of foods ultimately depend on the type,
organization, and interactions of the ingredients they con-
tain. For this reason, there has been growing attention on
controlling the structural organization of the ingredients
within foods to obtain the required sensorial and nutritional
attributes (Figure 4). The concept of food architecture refers
to the rational design of foods from the bottom up
(McClements 2020b). Food ingredients and processing oper-
ations are carefully controlled to create structures that pro-
vide specific desirable attributes, such as appearances,
textures, flavor profiles, mouthfeels, or digestion rates. In
this section, a few examples of food design approaches that
are being developed to improve the healthiness or sustain-
ability of foods are given for different macronutrients.
3.1. Proteins
In a recent meta-analysis, researchers summarized the rela-
tionship between the intake of total proteins, animal pro-
teins, or plant proteins and mortality (Naghshi etal. 2020).
This analysis involved 715,128 participants, and included
113,039 cases of death (16,429 from cardiovascular diseases
and 22,303 from cancer). The results of this meta-analysis
suggest that consumption of plant rather than animal pro-
teins resulted in a lower risk of all-cause mortality and
death due to cardiovascular diseases, which is attributed to
the ability of plant proteins to lower heart metabolic risk
factors, including blood lipids, lipoproteins, and blood pres-
sure, as well as improved blood sugar regulation. This study
suggests that it would be beneficial to replace animal pro-
teins with plant ones to improve human health and wellbeing.
As a result, the food industry is creating a range of
high-quality plant-based analogs of traditional animal prod-
ucts, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products (Samard
and Ryu 2019). Many plant proteins exhibit a broad spec-
trum of functional attributes that can be utilized to create
the structures and properties required to simulate those
found in animal products, such as thickening, gelling, bind-
ing, emulsifying, and water holding properties (Schreuders
et al. 2019). The food industry has already been highly
successful in creating high-quality processed meat analogs
from plant proteins, such as burgers, sausages, and nuggets
(Ismail, Hwang, and Joo 2020). However, further research
is still required to accurately simulate the structures and
properties of whole muscle tissues, such as beef steaks, pork
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 7
Figure 4. New directions in food processing in the future. (a) Creating sustainable foods. Alternative food ingredients may include synthetic avoring substances,
fats, nutrients, enzymes, etc. from plant proteins, cultured meat, and microbial synthetic proteins, through the organization, coloring, adding avor and other
technology processing, to obtain a variety of animal food substitutes. (b) Reducing calorie intake. The new butter can reduce the proportion of oil phase by
constructing water-in-oil high internal phase emulsion, and control the stability and texture of the system by designing the structure of water phase, oil phase
and interface. (c) Promoting the release of functional factors. Co-ingestion of tomato and excipient helps to dissolve and transport fat-soluble functional
components such as lycopene in the body, thus facilitating its absorption by the body.
8 F. LIU ETAL.
chops, chicken breasts, and fish fillets (McClements and
Grossmann 2021b). Researchers are therefore employing
food architecture approaches to create a new generation of
plant-based foods that look, feel, and taste like animal-based
ones. Moreover, they are focusing on improving the health
profile of these products by reducing fat, sugar, and salt
levels, as well as fortifying them with vitamins, minerals,
and nutraceuticals. The creation of affordable, convenient,
delicious, healthy and sustainable products requires the care-
ful selection of ingredients and structuring techniques
(Kyriakopoulou, Dekkers, and van der Goot 2019). In some
cases, novel strategies have to be developed to create the
ingredients required to formulate these products. For
instance, hemoglobin produced by microbiological fermen-
tation has been used to produce meat-like colors and flavors
in plant-based meat analogs (Jin etal. 2018; Yang and Zhang
2019). Similarly, Impossible Foods has used soybean leghe-
moglobin extracted from transgenic yeast to create meat-like
colors and flavors in their plant-based burgers (https://
impossiblefoods.com/burger). Compared with real beef ham-
burgers, it has been reported that these plant-based burgers
have substantial environmental benefits, as they require 96%
less land to produce and emit 89% less greenhouse gasses.
3.1.1. Structuring of proteins in foods
Meat-like structures can be created from plant proteins using
a variety of processing methods, including extrusion, spin-
ning, and shearing (Ismail, Hwang, and Joo 2020).
1. Extrusion: Extrusion is currently the most commonly
used processing method for the production of
plant-based meat products. It consists of a series of
unit operations, including mixing, heating, shearing,
forming, and cutting (Maurya and Said 2014).
Initially, the raw materials (such as proteins and/or
polysaccharides) are mixed together and hydrated.
ey are then fed into the extruder where they are
forced through a series of screws under high shears,
pressures and temperatures, which mixes, denatures,
and aggregates them. Finally, they are forced through
a small orice with a well-dened shape (the die).
ey may then be cut into the required shape using
a machine blade. As the biopolymer blend is squeezed
through the die head, the materials form brous
structures due to the orientational forces they expe-
rience. According to the level of water added, extru-
sion can be categorized as either low- or high-moisture
extrusion. Typically, it is easier to produce meat-like
fibrous structures from plant proteins using
high-moisture extrusion (He etal. 2020).
2. Shearing: e shear cell technology is nding increase
use for the creation of brous meat-like structures from
plant proteins (Maurya and Said 2014). is approach
is not widely used for the commercial production of
plant-based foods at present, but it has lower energy
requirements than extrusion, which may be advanta-
geous for some applications. is process is typically
carried out by shearing and gelling biopolymer blends
in a cone-shaped or concentric cylinder cell (Maurya
and Said 2014). e concentric (“Couette”) cell consists
of two nested cylinders, of which the outer cylinder
is typically stationary and the inner one rotates at a
constant speed. e biopolymers (proteins and/or poly-
saccharides) used as raw materials are mixed with
water and then placed in the concentric cylinder cell.
e biopolymer blend is then subject to controlled
processing conditions by rotating the cylinder at a xed
speed, temperature, and processing time. is leads to
the formation of a semi-solid material with a brous
internal structure due to the combined inuence of
the directional shear forces and heating (Krintiras etal.
2016). In particular, heating causes the protein mole-
cules to unfold and aggregate with each other, thereby
locking the brous structures into place.
3. Spinning: Spinning methods are mainly based on
changes in the solubility of proteins in dierent solu-
tions. In wet spinning, plants proteins and binding
agents are rst dissolved in a dilute alkali solution
to form a "spinning solution," which is then extruded
through porous plates or nozzles into an acidic salt
solution (Obata, Taniguchi, and Yamato 1976). is
leads to the formation of brous structures that are
then locked into place due to the strong attraction
between the proteins and binding agents under acidic
conditions. Electrospinning methods are also being
explored for their potential to form brous structures
that might be incorporated into meat analog prod-
ucts. In this case, a mixture of biopolymers and other
ingredients is dissolved in water and then placed in
a syringe. A high voltage is then applied between
the tip of the syringe and a collection plate. is
causes the biopolymer solution to be pulled out of
the syringe and form a thin stream. e water is
evaporated from this thin stream as it moves through
the air, which leads to the formation of solidied
biopolymer-rich nanoscale or microscale bers. Only
certain kinds of biopolymer solutions are suitable for
electrospinning: they should have high solubility, vis-
cosity, electrical conductivity, and surface tension.
At present, the large-scale commercial production of
plant-based meat products is usually carried out using extru-
sion. In comparison, shear cell and spinning technologies
are still largely at the experimental stages of development
(He et al. 2020). It should also be noted that soft matter
physics principles can be utilized to create meat-like struc-
tures from plant proteins, often in combination with plant
polysaccharides (McClements and Grossmann 2021a). For
instance, fibrous structures can be formed by inducing phase
separation of biopolymer mixtures through thermodynamic
incompatibility or coacervation mechanisms, followed by
shearing (to form fibers) and gelling (to fix their structure).
3.1.2. Biotechnological production of alternative proteins
Advances in biotechnology are also be utilized to create
protein-rich foods that are alternatives to traditional
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 9
animal-derived foods. Cultured meat, also referred to clean
meat, cell-based meat or cultivated meat, involves producing
animal muscle tissues using stem cells that are grown in
bioreactors (Zhang et al. 2020). These stem cells can be
extracted from living animals without the need to slaughter
them. The rise of cultured meat technology is mainly a
result of progress in stem cell biology (e.g., the inductive
multipotential stem cells) and tissue engineering (e.g., in
vitro skeletal muscle transplant) that were initially applied
into medicine (Rubio, Xiang, and Kaplan 2020). Professor
Mark Post from the Netherlands used muscle stem cells to
create edible cultured meat products (burgers) at the labo-
ratory scale (Post 2014). The production of cultivated meat
has some advantages over other kinds of alternative proteins:
it more closely resembles real meat; it does not contain
some of the allergens and antinutritional factors found in
plant proteins. It also has advantages over conventional meat:
it has a lower environmental footprint; no animals need to
be slaughtered; and its nutritional profile can be improved.
In particular, it is possible to improve the healthiness of
these products by growing adipose tissue cells that contain
more polyunsaturated fatty acids and less saturated fatty
acids than conventional meat (Ismail, Hwang, and Joo 2020).
As shown in Figure 5, multipotential stem cells are typically
extracted from the somatic stem cells or embryos of live
animals, and then cultured in bioreactors under optimized
conditions for tissue growth (e.g., nutrient levels, growth
factors, oxygen, light, pH, and temperature). The cells grow
and proliferate until reaching the required concentration
and are induced to differentiate into muscle cells. These
cells then combine into muscular tubes, which under appro-
priate conditions, further grow into skeletal muscles
(Tuomisto 2019). Typically, some kind of mechanical support
is required in the bioreactors to ensure that the correct
structures are formed. Biomaterials are often used as extra-
cellular matrices in the final tissues formed (Wolf et al.
2015). At present, it is difficult to create products that accu-
rately simulate the delicate structures found in whole muscle
meats, such as beef steaks, chicken breasts or pork chops,
but they can be successfully used to produce minced meat
products, like burgers or sausages (Bhat, Kumar, and
Fayaz 2015).
At present, this technology is only suitable for the
small-scale production of cultivated meat. There are still
several challenges that need to be overcome before the
large-scale commercial production of cell-based meat can
be achieved. Further work is required to identify low-cost
nutrient media, as well as to optimize the growing condi-
tions in large-scale bioreactors to increase yields and reduce
costs (Tuomisto 2019). In addition, more affordable and
consumer-friendly alternatives to bovine fetal serum are
required as a growth medium. Moreover, more work is still
required to convert the muscle tissues produced using
cell-based methods into food products with meat-like looks,
textures, and tastes (Ng and Kurisawa 2021). Improvements
in the sensory attributes of these products will be import-
ant for increasing their market acceptance (Zhang
et al. 2020).
Additive manufacturing (3D-printing) technologies have
been employed to create cultivated meat products with more
realistic structures and properties (Zhang et al. 2020). 3D
printers can be used to assemble muscle cells, fat cells, and
scaffolds that support cell growth and proliferation. By con-
trolling the type and location of the different cells and other
ingredients, a 3D printer can create products with meat-like
appearances and textures (Handral et al. 2022).
Figure 5. Production of meat using cell culture methods.
10 F. LIU ETAL.
Modern biotechnology can also be used to create alterna-
tive proteins through cellular agriculture processes, where
microbial cells are used as foods or to produce food ingre-
dients. Fermentation has been used throughout human history
to create a range of familiar food products, including beer,
bread, cheese, yogurt, and fish sauce. However, it can also
be utilized to create new kinds of foods and food ingredients.
Some fungi can produce mycelia that have fibrous structures
similar to those found in meat products. One of the most
successful commercial meat substitutes produced from micro-
bial fermentation is Quorn™, which is a mycoprotein produced
by the microfungi Fusarium venenatum, that is used as a
substitute product for chicken, meat balls and minced meat
(Rubio, Xiang, and Kaplan 2020). Airprotein (www.airprotein.
com) is another innovative food company that has used
microbial fermentation (hydrogenotrophs) to produce
protein-rich (≈80%) powders using the air (CO2, O2, and N2)
water and minerals as raw materials. This product has a
similar amino acid profile as real meat and is rich in vitamin
B12, which is normally lacking from plant-based diets. It has
been utilized to create simulated meat products.
Microbes can also be utilized to secrete proteins and
other high-value functional ingredients that can be used to
produce the next generation of alternatives to animal prod-
ucts. Perfect Day uses microbial fermentation to produce
milk proteins (such as caseins and whey proteins) that can
be utilized to create animal-free dairy products. This process
involves inserting DNA fragments that code for specific
proteins into yeast cells, which then express these proteins
during fermentation. The proteins can then be collected,
purified, and utilized as functional ingredients. This
approach does not involve the rearing or killing of any
animals, and has a much lower environmental footprint
than the production of animal foods (Takefuji 2021). The
molecules produced using cellular agriculture processes can
be utilized as specialized functional ingredients in food
products, such as flavors, colors, enzymes, gelling agents,
thickeners, and emulsifiers (Voigt 2020).
3.2. Carbohydrates
The overconsumption of foods containing high levels of sugars
or rapidly digestible starch (RDS) has been linked to the
increase in diet-related chronic diseases such as obesity and
diabetes. These types of foods include bread, cookies, crackers,
cakes, confectionery, noodles, white rice, and potatoes, which
make up an appreciable fraction of the calories in many
people’s diets. After consumption, RDS is rapidly digested
into glucose, which is then rapidly absorbed into the blood-
stream causing hyperglycemia. As a result, insulin is secreted,
which simulates the uptake of glucose by the body and leads
to hypoglycemia. Over time, these increases and decreases in
blood glucose levels lead to insulin resistance and type II
diabetes, thereby increasing the propensity to become obese
(Birt et al. 2013). For this reason, there has been interest in
developing a new generation of processed foods that does
not lead to large fluctuations in glucose blood levels, thereby
helping to prevent diabetes and obesity.
3.2.1. Resistant starch
The physical form of ingested starch has a large impact on
its digestion rate. Resistant starch refers to starch that is
not hydrolyzed by digestive enzymes in the upper gastro-
intestinal tract (GIT), but is fermented by bacteria in the
colon, leading to the production of short-chain fatty acids
(SCFAs) (Ashwar etal. 2016). These metabolites have been
linked to a number of important biological activities, includ-
ing prevention of colon cancer, blood sugar control, intes-
tinal flora modulation, reduction of blood cholesterol levels,
and alteration of macronutrient metabolism. Resistant starch
comes in a variety of forms that are able to limit the ability
of digestive enzymes to access and hydrolyze the starch
molecules. For instance, it may be starch trapped within
plant cells and tissues, raw starch granules, or retrograded
starch (Ashwar et al. 2016). There have therefore been
attempts to control food processing operations so as to
increase the levels of resistant starch present in foods, e.g.,
by leaving cellular structures intact, avoiding starch gelati-
nization, or promoting retrogradation (McClements 2020a).
For instance, the mechanical forces, pressures, temperatures,
and times used during processing may be optimized. It is
important, however, that the final products still have the
desirable physicochemical and sensory attributes, otherwise
consumers will not find them desirable. Resistant starch is
often formed using extrusion processes that disrupt the
original structure of the starch molecules and cause them
to assemble into densely-packed structures that are resistant
to enzymatic hydrolysis (Birt et al. 2013). Resistant starch
can also be created by chemical modification of natural
starch. For instance, starch can be modified using esterifi-
cation, etherification, or crosslinking reactions that increase
its resistance to hydrolysis by amylase (Tian et al. 2019).
Alternatively, starch can be co-ingested with other food
components that interfere with the activity of amylase, such
as lipids, polyphenols, and dietary fibers (Tian etal. 2019).
Nevertheless, it is important to ensure that this does not
promote any unintended adverse health effects.
3.2.2. Low-sugar foods
Food researchers are also creating foods containing reduced
levels of sugars (such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose) so
as to reduce their potential to promote diabetes and obesity.
One of the most effective strategies is to utilize non-nutritive
sweeteners. Polyols like xylitol and sucralose can provide
sweetness to foods without having some of the disadvantages
of sugars. For instance, polyols typically have a lower calorie
content, cause lower increases in blood sugar levels, and do
not cause tooth decay (Edwards etal. 2016). Some unusual
natural sugars (like allulose) also have lower calorie contents
than conventional sugars and are therefore finding increasing
utilization in foods. Artificial high-intensity sweeteners (like
saccharine, aspartame, and sucralose), which can be utilized
at much lower levels than conventional sugars, are also used
in some food products. However, there is increasing resis-
tance to the utilization of these artificial sweeteners in foods
and beverages because of consumer demands for clean labels.
Moreover, the flavor profile, duration, and aftertaste of these
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 11
artificial sweeteners are different from that of real sugars,
which some consumers do not find acceptable. For these
reasons, there had been interest in the identification of
natural high-intensity natural sweeteners that have desirable
flavor profiles, such as Stevia (Gaudette and Pickering 2013).
Sugars are added to some foods to reduce their bitterness.
The level of sugars in these kinds of foods can therefore
be reduced by adding ingredients that block the perception
of bitter tastes. As an example, MycoTechnology (USA)
produced ClearTasteTM from the mycelia of mushrooms that
are bitter blockers that can be used to reduce the bitterness
and astringency of foods, thereby reducing the amount of
sugar that needs to be added (Soni and Langan 2018).
3.3. Lipids
Over the past few years, the food industry has been refor-
mulating many of its products to reduce their fat content
and alter their fat profile due to consumer concerns about
the effects of excessive intake of total fats, trans-fats and
saturated fats on chronic diseases like obesity and heart
disease. Conversely, they have been trying to increase the
levels of healthy fats (such as polyunsaturated omega-3 oils)
in their products due to their perceived health benefits. In
this section, we highlight some strategies that have been
introduced to improve the lipid profile of foods with the
objective of making them healthier.
3.3.1. Fat replacers
Simply reducing the fat content of foods tends to have
adverse effects on their quality attributes and sensory accep-
tance. For this reason, there has been interest in the iden-
tification of fat replacers that can decrease the total fat
content of foods, as well as simulating their desirable phys-
icochemical properties and sensory attributes, such as
appearance, texture, mouthfeel, and flavor profile (Chen
et al. 2020). Fat replacers can be divided into two main
categories: fat substitutes and fat mimetics. Fat substitutes
have similar physicochemical characteristics as conventional
fats (i.e., they are hydrophobic liquids) and so they can be
used to replace fats on an approximately one-to-one basis.
For instance, OlestraTM was developed by the Procter and
Gamble Company as a fat substitute and approved for use
in the USA in 1996. It is a sucrose fatty acid polyester that
consists of a sucrose molecule in the center with numerous
fatty acid chains covalently attached to the hydroxyl groups.
Consequently, it has a hydrophobic exterior and is insoluble
in water. The lipase molecules in the human gut cannot
hydrolyze the ester bonds holding the fatty acids to the
sucrose because of steric hindrance effects. Consequently,
Olestra simply passes through the upper gastrointestinal
tract and into the colon, which means that it has a low
calorie content. However, it can have undesirable health
effects such as diarrhea, anal leakage, and inhibition of
oil-soluble vitamin absorption. Fat mimetics are usually bio-
polymers (proteins and/or polysaccharides) that are able to
simulate the appearance, texture and/or mouthfeel of fats
(Peng and Yao 2017). Microspheres produced from milk
proteins can be used as effective fat substitutes because they
have similar dimensions and surface characteristics as the
fat globules in dairy products (Kew et al. 2020). For this
reason, they have been incorporated into dairy products
such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream as fat mimetics.
Simplesse® (Singer, Yamamoto, Latella, 1988) is a commercial
fat mimetic produced by NutraSweet. Globular milk proteins
unfold and aggregate when heated and sheared under appro-
priate pH conditions, leading to the formation of protein
microspheres with similar diameters (5 μm) and charges as
milk protein-coated fat droplets (Kew et al. 2020). These
protein microspheres can therefore create some of the desir-
able lubricant sensations normally provided by fat droplets.
Natural or modified starches can also be used as fat
substitutes, as some starch-based particles have similar sizes
and shapes as fat droplets. In particular, they provide phys-
iochemical properties such as thickening, gelling, and water
holding that are associated with fatty-like sensory properties
in foods. Typically, modified starches are more commonly
used in the food industry than natural starches, because the
latter type has a tendency to break down when exposed to
common processing conditions, such as acidic pH, heating,
and freezing (Chen et al. 2020). The thickening and lubri-
cating properties that fats often bring to foods can some-
times be simulated by adding dietary fibers, such as pectin,
locust bean gum, guar gum, and xanthan gum. Nevertheless,
most fat mimetics are unable to solubilize hydrophobic fla-
vors or vitamins, which can have adverse effects on the
flavor profile and nutritional content of reduced-fat foods
(McClements 2019).
3.3.2. Structural design of lipids
In addition to the replacement of fats by other food ingre-
dients, structural design principles can also be used to
decrease the total fat content of foods. Many lipid-based
foods, including salad dressing, mayonnaise, milk, cream,
sauces, margarine, and butter, mainly exist in an emulsified
form. Butter and margarine are water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions
that typically contain around 20% of water in the form of
small droplets dispersed in 80% of fat in the form of a
partially-crystalline 3D network of aggregated fat crystals
(Norton, Moore, and Fryer 2007). This fatty matrix contrib-
utes to the semi-solid (plastic) mechanical properties of these
foods. Researchers are investigating the possibility of using
water-in-oil (W/O) high-internal-phase emulsions (HIPEs)
as a means to create reduced-fat versions of these products
(Lee etal. 2019). W/O HIPEs consist of a high concentration
(> 74%) of water droplets that are so tightly packed together
that they give the final product some solid-like characteris-
tics, therefore partly mimicking the texture provided by fat
crystal networks in conventional products. Traditionally, W/O
HIPEs are prepared using relatively high concentrations of
oil-soluble surfactants (such as PGPR), which causes chal-
lenges because of cost, flavor, and toxicity issues (Zhu etal.
2019). Hence, there is considerable interest in identifying
more label-friendly emulsifiers to stabilize these systems.
Abbaspourrad and coworkers successfully developed a stable
12 F. LIU ETAL.
W/O HIPE containing 20% oil and 80% water by gelling the
oil and water phases with beeswax and carrageenan, respec-
tively (Lee et al. 2019). In this case, glyceryl monooleate
(GMO) was used as an emulsifier that could form a fat
crystal network around the water droplets.
Multiple (double) emulsions can also be used to reduce
the fat content of fatty food products. In particular,
water-in-oil-in-water emulsions (W/O/W) can be used to
reduce the fat content of traditional oil-in-water emulsions
(O/W), while maintaining their desirable physicochemical
properties. In this case, some of the fat inside the oil drop-
lets is replaced by water droplets. For instance, this approach
has been used to create mayonnaise-like products with fat
contents as low as 36%, which is about 40% lower than
conventional mayonnaise, while still keeping a similar
appearance, texture, and flavor profile (Yildirim, Sumnu,
and Sahin 2016). Structural design principles have also been
used to create gastric-stable emulsions, which can delay
gastric emptying thereby prolonging the feeling of fullness,
which may reduce the overall intake of high-calorie foods
(Norton, Moore, and Fryer 2007).
3.3.3. Gene editing
Altering the lipid profile of foods through genetic engineering
of plants has also been explored as a means of improving
their nutritional profile. Some of these products have already
been developed and tested and are now commercially available.
For instance, a high-oleic soybean oil isolated from genetically
engineered plants that is claimed to be healthier for the heart
has been marketed by Calyxt in the USA (Voigt 2020). Two
saturated fatty acid enzyme genes in the soybean genome were
inactivated using genetic engineering, thereby decreasing the
production of linoleic acid and increasing the production of
oleic acids. Since this type of soybean oil was produced from
gene editing without the introduction of any foreign genes, it
is not considered to be a transgenic product in the USA.
3.4. Functional foods
Food scientists have recently focused on the development
of functional foods that are specifically designed to improve
human health by decreasing the risks of certain chronic
diseases and/or curing them (Šamec, Urlić, and Salopek-Sondi
2019). In addition, they are carrying out systematic research
on the natural food products (such as berries, spices, tea,
and coffee) that are claimed to act as “superfoods” that
exhibit particularly strong health benefits when consumed
at sufficiently high levels.
3.4.1. Fortied foods
The nutritional value of foods can be improved by forti-
fying them with specific nutrients (e.g., omega 3 oils, pro-
teins, vitamins, and minerals) and nutraceuticals (e.g.,
carotenoids, polyphenols, and phytosterols). For instance,
milks have been fortified with vitamin D, orange juice has
been fortified with calcium, yogurts have been fortified
with probiotics, and breakfast cereals have been enriched
with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals
(Salvia-Trujillo, Martín-Belloso, and McClements 2016).
However, direct addition of the nutrients and nutraceuticals
into the food matrix is often challenging due to their poor
solubility, stability, and bioavailability characteristics. These
challenges can often be overcome using well-designed col-
loidal delivery systems that encapsulate, protect, and con-
trol the release of the bioactives. In particular, food-grade
nanoparticles have proved especially effective for this pur-
pose, including nano-emulsions, nano-gels, nano-liposomes,
nano-microcapsules, and nano-fibers (McClements 2020a).
For instance, a hydrophobic bioactive agent can be trapped
inside the hydrophobic core of a nanoparticle that has a
hydrophilic shell. The presence of this shell means that
the hydrophobic bioactive can easily be dispersed in water.
The composition and properties of the core and shell can
be designed to protect the bioactives from chemical deg-
radation. Moreover, they can be designed to release the
bioactives at a specific location with the human gut in a
bioavailable form, thereby increasing their efficacy. Selection
of appropriate materials to form the core and shell of
food-grade nanoparticles is essential to ensure that they
function properly (Saifullah etal. 2019). It should be noted
that nanomaterials are not new to the food industry. They
are naturally present in many commonly consumed foods,
such as the casein micelles in milk, the oil bodies in nuts
and seeds, and the lipoproteins in eggs. Nanoparticles may
even be formed unintentionally in traditional foods during
routine food processing operations, such as homogeniza-
tion, grinding, or cooking (McClements 2019). The utili-
zation of nanoparticles to encapsulate and protect nutrients
and nutraceuticals is likely to remain an important area
of food research in the future.
3.4.2. Superfoods
In general, the term superfood is used to describe foods
containing high levels of nutrients or bioactive phytochem-
icals believed to promote human health and wellbeing
(Taulavuori etal. 2013). Many foods are claimed to exhibit
health benefits because they contain high levels of bioactive
components, such as lycopene in tomatoes, omega-3 fatty
acids in fish, and polyphenols in tea, coffee and berries. In
vitro and in vivo studies have often demonstrated the poten-
tial health benefits of these bioactive components when
consumed regularly at sufficiently high levels (Bigliardi and
Galati 2013). Consequently, there has been great interest in
encouraging increased consumption of these “superfoods”
or in using them as ingredients in other foods. For instance,
the bioactive compounds in a superfood can be isolated and
used as nutraceuticals for the production of functional foods.
When designing these foods it is important to account for
food matrix effects on the bioavailability and pharmacoki-
netics of the bioactive components, as this can impact their
gastrointestinal fate (Van den Driessche, Plat, and Mensink
2018). It should be noted, however, that the scientific evi-
dence to support the beneficial health effects of consuming
most superfoods is weak or non-existent. Indeed, no
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 13
generally accepted definition for this term currently exists
and there is certainly a need for more rigorous clinical
studies on their efficacy and safety, as well as for a stronger
regulatory framework (Liu et al. 2021).
3.4.3. Excipient foods
Many of the health-promoting bioactive components found
in natural foods (such as fruits, vegetables, and cereals) have
a relatively low bioavailability because of their poor solu-
bility, stability, and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
As a result, they do not fully exhibit their beneficial health
effects. Recently, there has been interest in the development
of excipient foods that can increase the bioavailability of
bioactive components in foods that they are consumed with
(Salvia-Trujillo, Martín-Belloso, and McClements 2016).
Excipient foods are not bioactive themselves, but they create
an environment within the gastrointestinal tract that
increases the bioavailability of the bioactive components
ingested with them (McClements etal. 2015). Oil-in-water
emulsions and nanoemulsions are commonly used as excip-
ient foods because of their unique compositions and struc-
tures. They can contain hydrophobic, hydrophilic and
amphiphilic functional ingredients, and their oil droplet
sizes can be controlled. Excipient nanoemulsions have
recently been reported to increase carotenoid uptake from
tomatoes by creating mixed micelles in the small intestine
that solubilize, protect, and transport the carotenoids to the
epithelium cells where they can be absorbed (Nemli et al.
2021) (Figure 4c). They have also been reported to improve
the oral bioavailability of carotenoids in spinach by delaying
gastric emptying and forming mixed micelles (Yao
et al. 2021).
4. Eco-friendly food packaging
4.1. Development trends
Traditionally, food packaging has been developed to protect
foods from environmental stresses, increase their safety,
extend their shelf lives, and minimize waste (Han et al.
2018). Petroleum-based plastics are often utilized for this
purpose. However, there has been growing concern about
the negative impacts of the production and disposal of plas-
tics on the environment (da Cruz etal. 2014). In addition,
the large amounts of food waste associated with the modern
food industry have become a major concern (Raak et al.
2017). For this reason, food scientists are focusing on the
design of new types of biodegradable, smart, and active
packaging materials to address these issues (Poyatos-Racionero
etal. 2018). Figure 6 highlights the importance of this area
by showing the change in the number of publications on
functional and sustainable packaging materials over the past
20 years.
4.2. Functional food packaging
Food packaging materials are normally designed to have
good optical, mechanical, and barrier properties. More
recently, there has been interest in extending their func-
tionality to provide additional protections to food (“active
packaging”) or to provide information about food properties
during storage (“smart packaging”) (Figure 7). This new
generation of functional food packaging is likely to play an
important role in food storage, preservation, and quality
monitoring in the future.
4.2.1. Active packaging
Food deterioration is usually caused by either microbial
growth or chemical degradation. Consequently, there has
been interest in developing active food packaging materials
containing antimicrobials and/or antioxidants that can
retard these process and thereby extend the shelf life of
foods (Biji etal. 2015). Active packaging typically contains
food-grade antimicrobials or antioxidants that either remain
in the film or are slowly released into the food. The anti-
oxidants and antimicrobials used for this purpose may be
synthetic or natural ingredients (Huang et al. 2019).
However, there is increasing interest in the utilization of
natural preservatives due to consumer concerns about the
impacts of synthetic ones on human health and the
environment.
Synthetic preservatives are artificially synthesized sub-
stances that exhibit antibacterial and/or antioxidant ability,
which may be inorganic or organic. Inorganic synthetic
preservatives are often nanoscale particles comprised of
inorganic metals or metallic oxides (Rawashdeh and Haik
2009), such as those made from silver, copper oxide, tita-
nium dioxide, zinc oxide, and graphene (Azeredo et al.
2019). These inorganic nanomaterials exhibit their antimi-
crobial activities through a variety of mechanisms, includ-
ing generation of free radicals and interaction with key
biochemical components, such as bacterial cell membranes,
DNA, enzymes, proteins and organelles (Azeredo et al.
2019; Slavin et al. 2017). However, the widespread use of
inorganic nanoparticles is limited because of their high
costs, potential toxicity, and poor label friendliness
Figure 6. Trends in the number of publications on some functional packaging
and sustainable packaging from 2001 to 2020.
14 F. LIU ETAL.
(Echegoyen and Nerín 2013; Zorraquín-Peña et al. 2020).
Organic synthetic preservatives include various aldehydes,
phenolic compounds, and quaternary ammonium salts.
These substances can also exhibit antibacterial activity by
disrupting microbial cell walls and interacting with key
biochemical components (Friedman et al. 2017), thereby
disrupting critical biochemical pathways (Saidin et al.
2021). Organic synthetic preservatives tend to have a
broader spectrum of antibacterial activity and are less
expensive than inorganic ones. Nevertheless, they are still
limited by their relatively low stability, potential toxicity,
and poor label friendliness. Hence, there has been great
interest in identifying natural preservatives to replace syn-
thetic ones.
Natural antibacterial agents can be extracted from ani-
mals, plants, or microbes: animal-derived substances
include chitosan, proteins, peptides, and amino acids;
plant-derived substances include essential oils, phytochem-
icals, and polysaccharides; and microbe-derived substances
include microbial metabolites (Lucera et al. 2012). The
incorporation of natural preservatives into packaging
materials has been shown to be effective at increasing
their antioxidant and antibacterial activity (Aloui et al.
2021). Nevertheless, further research is required to
develop effective, robust, and economically viable pack-
aging materials containing natural preservatives (Ahmed
et al. 2020).
Moreover, the incorporation of preservatives into pack-
aging materials may alter their optical, mechanical, and
barrier properties, which should be taken into account
during the development of these systems. Ideally, the pre-
servatives should either enhance or not impact the desirable
functional attributes of the packaging materials they are
incorporated into.
4.2.2. Intelligent and smart packaging
An intelligent packaging material can convey information
about the properties of a food through the utilization of
indicators and/or sensing devices that are embedded
within it or located on its surface. This type of packaging
material can provide valuable information about the
safety, quality, or maturity of a product throughout the
supply chain, including production, transportation, stor-
age, and utilization. The indicators and sensors carried
by intelligent packaging systems mainly include
time-temperature indicators, gas detectors, freshness and/
or maturity indicators, and radiofrequency identification
(RFID) systems (Kerry, O’Grady, and Hogan 2006; Prasad
and Kochhar 2014). Through a combination of detection,
tracking, recording and transmission, intelligent packaging
systems convey important information that helps food
producers, distributions, and consumers judge the status
of a product (Ghaani et al. 2016). As a result, this can
lead to increases in food quality, improvements in food
safety, extensions in shelf life, and reductions in waste.
Intelligent packaging materials can be categorized based
on their underlying operating principles as indicator, sen-
sor, or RFID packaging (Vanderroost etal. 2014). Indicator
packaging materials rely on an observable change that is
related to alterations in the key properties of food, such
as a change in color of the packaging material when the
temperature, pH, or freshness of the food changes.
Compared to other types of packaging, the indicator type
is relatively simple, low-cost and convenient, but the sen-
sors used are often unstable to environmental stresses
(such as heat, light, or moisture) (Biji et al. 2015; Roy
and Rhim 2020). Sensor packaging materials rely on the
utilization of sensors embedded in or on the film that
transform some change in food properties into a signal
that can be detected and recorded. Some of the most
common sensors used are gas sensors, biosensors, printed
electronics, chemical sensors, and electronic noses (Biji
etal. 2015). Sensor packaging materials can provide food
producers, distributors, and consumers with more detailed
information about food properties, but they are typically
more expensive and cannot be incorporated into all forms
of packaging. RFID systems rely on wireless sensors for
the identification of food and for data collection. They
mainly consist of a combination of a label and a suitable
reader. Important information about food properties (such
as origin, date of production, transportation route, etc.)
can be stored on the label, which can then be used by
producers, distributors or consumers to make informed
decisions (Todorovic, Neag, and Lazarevic 2014). RFID
is particularly suitable for the management and optimi-
zation of food supply chains (Sarac, Absi, and
Dauzère-Pérès 2010). It is especially useful for tracing
purposes when there are food poisoning outbreaks or
food recalls.
Smart packaging materials monitor changes in food
products and/or the environment using sensors and then
make appropriate responses to these changes through a
feedback mechanism (Kuswandi et al. 2011). Thus, intel-
ligent packaging is only designed to monitor foods,
whereas smart packaging is designed to both monitor
foods and to change them (if required) (Vanderroost et al.
2014) To some extent, smart packaging is, therefore, a
combination of intelligent and active packaging. For
instance, if a sensor detects the presence of microbial
Figure 7. Comparison of active, smart, degradable and plastic packaging
materials.
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 15
contamination in a food, then it can respond by releasing
antimicrobial agents.
4.3. Sustainable food packaging
As mentioned earlier, petroleum-based packaging materials
are widely used in the food industry because of their rela-
tively low costs, good optical, mechanical and barrier prop-
erties, robustness, and heat-sealing ability. However, it is
difficult to recycle or dispose of these materials, which
causes environmental damage (Wohner etal. 2020). In addi-
tion, pollution caused by inadequate disposal of
petroleum-based packaging materials may have adverse
effects on human health (Yates et al. 2021). Thus, many
researchers are attempting to develop more sustainable pack-
aging materials as environmentally-friendly alternatives to
petroleum-based ones.
4.3.1. Degradable packaging
Degradable materials are decomposed by natural environ-
mental conditions, leading to the formation of safe organic
products that do not cause pollution (Othman 2014).
Degradable materials can be classified by the degradation
mechanism as photodegradable, biodegradable, or photo-
degradable/biodegradable materials. The most commonly
used degradable materials in food packaging include starch,
polylactic acid, polyvinyl alcohol, polycaprolactone, and
celluloses.
Degradable nanomaterials, such as those derived from
cellulose and chitin, are particularly suitable for constructing
this type of packaging material due to their low costs, high
abundance, and excellent functional attributes(Bhargava etal.
2020). Cellulose-based nanomaterials include cellulose nano-
fibers (CNF) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). CNCs are
produced by mechanical treatments, acid hydrolysis, and/or
enzyme hydrolysis (Stelte and Sanadi 2009; Hubbe et al.
2008). These nanoparticles have large surface areas and
many surface hydroxy groups, which can be modified to
endow additional functional attributes (Moon et al. 2011).
The incorporation of cellulose nanocomposites has been
shown to improve the mechanical and barrier properties of
degradable packaging materials (He etal. 2020; Zhang et al.
2020). These effects can mainly be attributed to the high
mechanical strength and restriction to diffusion processes
that cellulose nanoparticles provide when they are uniformly
dispersed throughout a packaging matrix (Abdollahi
et al. 2013).
4.3.2. Edible packaging
Edible packaging materials are usually prepared from bio-
degradable food-grade macromolecules, such as proteins,
polysaccharides, and/or lipids (Mohamed, El-Sakhawy, and
El-Sakhawy 2020). In some cases, these macromolecules can
be assembled into coatings or films that have the mechan-
ical, barrier, and optical properties required to protect foods.
The functional performance of edible packaging may also
have to be improved by incorporating other functional
ingredients (Dhall 2013). This is often necessary due to the
limitations inherent in using food macromolecules alone.
For instance, polysaccharide- and protein-based films have
high mechanical strength and oxygen blocking ability, but
limited water vapor blocking ability (Petkoska et al. 2021).
Conversely, lipid-based films have good water vapor per-
meability and moisture-stability properties, but poor mechan-
ical strength. For this reason, biopolymers and lipids are
often combined together to create composite edible pack-
aging materials with improved properties (Talegaonkar
et al. 2017).
Active, intelligent, and smart versions of edible packaging
materials can also be created to increase their functional
performance. Typically, biopolymers are used to form the
matrix and then sensors or active ingredients are incorpo-
rated using blending, pressing, layer-by-layer, or electrostatic
spinning methods (Chen et al. 2021). Nevertheless, further
research is still required to create economic and robust
edible packaging materials that can be produced commer-
cially at sufficiently large scales.
5. Precision nutrition and customized food
production
Different individuals have different nutritional requirements
depending on their genetics, metabolisms, microbiomes,
lifestyle preferences, and phenome (McClements 2019). It
is therefore likely that nutritional recommendations will be
increasingly given at the individual rather than the popu-
lation level. Precision or personalized nutrition relies on the
availability of advanced analytical technologies to affordably
and rapidly provide detailed data about the genetics,
epi-genetics, metabolomes, microbiomes, and phenomes of
individuals (Figure 8). Advanced computational methods
are then required to store and analyze this data so as to
find connections between an individual’s data, health, life-
style, and diet. This knowledge can then be used to design
a specific diet and lifestyle to ensure that an individual
remains healthy.
5.1. Nutrition demand and digestive and metabolic
dierences
Different countries around the world have developed dietary
guidelines based on the characteristics of their populations.
These guidelines are based on the general principles of
nutrition combined with knowledge of the nutritional needs
of the particular population. Though dietary guidelines pres-
ent reasonable guidance for the general population and
specific groups, regional diversity and the complexity of the
human body make the dietary guidelines different among
regions (Figure 9, Sino-US differences in dietary guidelines).
Moreover, dietary guidelines cannot match the needs of
every individual or achieve the goals of precision nutrition
guidance. Consequently, more research is required to develop
the analytical instrumentation, databases, and computation
models to develop more personalized nutritional advice.
16 F. LIU ETAL.
Differences in development phase, physiology, and health
status result in differences in the nutrients and calories
different individuals require. For instance, teenagers are at
a critical growth stage and require more energy, water,
carbohydrates, minerals, creatine, and vitamins than adults
to meet their growth needs. Moreover, the nutritional
requirements of pregnant women are significantly different
from those who are not pregnant. For example, pregnant
women are recommended to increase their intake of sea-
food, dairy products, and iron-fortified functional foods.
Many elderly people suffer from bone and muscle aging,
which means that they should consume foods containing
higher levels of bioavailable calcium and proteins. Elderly
people who are prone to cardiovascular diseases should
consume more foods that are low in saturated fats and
high in polyunsaturated fats (Sacks etal. 2017). Moreover,
the physical activity of people often drops as people age
and so they may require foods that have a lower calorie
density to avoid becoming overweight or obese. Conversely,
people working in extreme conditions, such as military
personnel, firefighters, and athletes, require nutrient-dense
foods that are high in calories (Pasiakos 2020).
Differences in gastrointestinal physiology among indi-
viduals may also mean that they require foods with different
nutrient profiles or digestibility. The gastrointestinal tract
harbors about 100 trillion microbes, including bacteria,
fungi, viruses, and protozoa (Sender, Fuchs, and Milo 2016).
The intestinal flora is symbiotic with the human body and
plays a vital role in maintaining normal metabolic functions
and human health. The composition and functions of the
intestinal flora vary greatly between people, which may be
a result of genetic differences, as well as external factors
(Vandeputte 2020). For instance, the intestinal tract of an
obese person has lower proportions of Bacteroidetes and
higher proportions of Actinobacteria. Diet is one of the
most important external factors affecting the composition
and function of the intestinal flora and can be most easily
altered or controlled (Sonnenburg et al. 2016). Ingested
foods are partially digested and absorbed in the upper
gastrointestinal tract, but a fraction of the undigested mate-
rial reaches the colon and acts as a substrate for intestinal
microbes. As a result, the intestinal microflora plays an
important role in the digestion and absorption of foods,
as well as influencing their health effects on the human
body. Differences in national diet have an important impact
on the microflora of populations. For instance, the intestinal
tracts of Japanese people contain a unique microbial strain
that can secrete alga metabolic enzymes, which is because
they regularly consume seaweed (Hehemann et al. 2010).
This research highlights that dietary interventions can
directly act on intestinal microflora and impact its compo-
sition and function, thereby altering human health. In the
future, more research is required to better understand the
complex links between diet, the gut microbiome, and
human health. This knowledge can then be used to create
diets that will enhance human health and wellbeing.
5.2. Nutriomics and individualized food design
Nutriomics is the study of the interactions between the
human diet and genes and their effects on human health
Figure 8. Personalized nutrition involves several aspects, including the genome,
metabolome, microbiome, life style, diet, and phenome (McClements 2019).
Figure 9. Dietary guidelines for (a) Americans; (b) Chinese.
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 17
at the molecular and population levels. This knowledge
can then be used to create dietary intervention schemes
and health care measures based on analysis of individual
genome structures and characteristics. This science includes
nutritional genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metab-
olomics, and systems biology (Van Ommen and Stierum,
2002). Early nutriomics research was mostly explorative
and aimed to determine new nutrimental and dietary
mechanisms by applying transcriptomics or proteomics
techniques. Changes in the transcriptome or proteome
reflect changes in inflammation and oxidative stress path-
ways, as well as alterations in metabolism, which can pro-
vide valuable information about how specific foods impact
human health. Advanced metabolomic methods are increas-
ingly being applied into nutrition research, since metabo-
lites are the actual products of dietary intake and
metabolism, and thus can be utilized to more precisely
evaluate the biochemical and physiological pathways of
biomarkers produced by diets (exogenous) or diseases
(endogenous). Metabolomics can also be used to prove the
effectiveness of metabolic biomarkers and evaluate food
intake, and plays a critical role in studying the relationship
between food intake and health/disease (Brennan and de
Roos 2021). Food metabolism is a complex process, and
the ingested foods introduce new metabolites into the body,
which then undergo complex metabolic reactions in various
biochemical pathways. In addition, the ingested foods alter
the composition and function of the colonic microflora,
which also has important health implications. Rådjursöga
et al. (2019) found after intake of breakfast cereals, it
caused increases in the serum concentrations of proline,
tyrosine and N-acetylated amino acids in adults, but after
eating ham and eggs, the serum concentrations of creatine,
methanol and isoleucine increased. Measurements of appro-
priate biomarkers allow scientists to rapidly identify met-
abolic dysfunctions and undesirable health conditions. Lu
et al. (2017) reported that lipid peroxidation metabolites
may be good biomarkers to differentiate stable angina pec-
toris and myocardial infarction. Furthermore, metabolomics
has been used to provide an assessment of the potential
biological ages of individuals (Ordovas and Berciano 2020).
With the presence of chronic diseases, biological age is
older than the actual age, and the difference between the
two ages is related to risks of disease and death.
The application of dietetics and nutriomics into research
on in vivo dietary interventions has indicated that ingested
bioactive ingredients affect the transcriptome, proteome,
metabolome, and gut microbiotas. Detection of changes in
biomarkers during the early stage of diseases can help to
provide information about how diets prevent or delay the
development of chronic diseases. In the future, it is likely
that advanced omics tools will become increasingly import-
ant in the development of precision nutrition.
5.3. Food sensory perception dierences
Customers are increasingly taking food nutrition and health
into account when making dietary choices. However, any
newly designed foods must still be desirable, affordable and
convenient, otherwise people will not consume them.
Individuals vary considerably in their food preferences
depending on their genetics and life history. Consequently,
it is important for food manufacturers to understand the
key factors affecting consumer choices so they can design
healthier and more sustainable foods that people will incor-
porate into their diet. Food flavor and preference depend
on the integration of information coming from different
human senses, including sight, sound, taste, aroma, and
touch, as well as previous experiences and associations.
Researchers are currently trying to identify the relationships
amongst food composition and structure, the physiological
structures and pathways linked to sensation, individual dif-
ferences in sensory organs, brain patterns after food inges-
tion, sensor perception, and the emotional feedback of
consumers (Torrico etal. 2021). The sensory perception of
foods is a rapidly advancing science due to the availability
of new analytical tools and theories. For instance, the iden-
tity of many taste receptors has already been established, as
well as the neuron structures related to the five primary
tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, savory) (Zhang etal. 2019).
A number of factors contribute to individual differences
in the sensory perception of foods. First, genetic differences
decide the sensitivity of individuals to different flavors e.g.,
some people are super tasters, normal tasters or non-tasters
of bitterness depending on the combination of alleles they
have (Bartoshuk 2000). Secondly, environment, age, gender,
income, physiological state, health status and other factors
influence the sensory perception of different individuals
(Weenen et al. 2019; Henkin, Levy, and Fordyce 2013).
Overall, this highlights the importance of accounting for
personalized sensory attributes, as well as personalized nutri-
tional needs, when formulating the next generation of foods.
The textural properties and mouthfeel of foods during
eating are also important parts of the sensory perception
of foods and directly affect food preference and acceptance
(Prakash, Tan, and Chen 2013). Consequently, there have
been great efforts in understanding and controlling the fac-
tors that influence the texture and oral processing of foods
using in vitro mechanical methods, as well as in vivo sen-
sory methods (Upadhyay and Chen 2019). In particular,
oral processing utilizes a combination of material science,
sensory science, and physiology to understand the behavior
of foods inside the mouth during mastication and how this
is perceived by consumers as mouthfeel. During oral pro-
cessing, solid foods are mixed with saliva, broken down,
moved around the mouth, and coat the tongue, cheeks, and
palette. The bolus formed elicits sensory responses by inter-
acting with nerve endings in the oral mucosa that then send
signals to the brain that are interpreted as taste and texture
(Steele 2018; Simon etal. 2006; Ishihara et al. 2013). Saliva
volume and composition, oral temperature, tongue morphol-
ogy, and chewing parameters all affect the sensory percep-
tion of foods. Researchers are developing new analytical
methods to simulate the conditions in the mouth, such as
oral tribology (Upadhyay and Chen 2019), which can pro-
vide valuable insights into the key properties of foods that
impact sensory perception. This knowledge can then be
18 F. LIU ETAL.
used to design delicious foods with novel or improved sen-
sory attributes, or to create foods that are designed for
individuals with health problems that interfere with normal
sensory perception (Collins and Bercik 2009; Peppas
et al. 2021).
6. Conclusions and prospects
The modern world is faced with numerous challenges asso-
ciated with the food supply chain, including global popu-
lation growth, climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution,
waste, growing diet-related chronic diseases, and food safety
issues. It is critical to produce safe, nutritious, and sustain-
able foods without damaging the environment. Moreover,
these foods must be designed to meet people’s growing
aspirations for a better life.
There are many advances in modern science and technol-
ogy that are being employed to create a new generation of
healthier and more sustainable foods. Alternative protein
sources are being developed to replace protein-rich
animal-derived foods like meat, fish, eggs, and milk, including
proteins obtained from plants, insects, microbes, and cell
cultures. Advances in sensing, robotics, and artificial intelli-
gence are being used in agriculture, food distribution, and
food processing operations to make them more efficient,
reduce waste, and decrease the dependence on manual labor.
Genetic engineering is being utilized to improve the yield
and nutritional quality of agricultural crops, to reduce waste,
and to increase their resilience to climate change. Additive
manufacturing (3D printing) is being utilized to create per-
sonalized foods with sensory attributes and nutritional profiles
tailored to individual needs. Food architecture and nanotech-
nology are being used to improve the healthiness of foods
by removing ingredients known to promote chronic diseases
(such as fats, sugars, and salts) or fortifying them with ingre-
dients known to promote health (such as vitamins, minerals,
and nutraceuticals), while still ensuring desirable food quality,
affordability, and convenience. Biodegradable, active, smart,
and intelligent packaging materials are being developed to
reduce the negative environmental impact of traditional
plastic-based packaging, as well as to improve food quality,
safety, and sustainability. Precision nutrition is utilizing the
latest advances in analytical instrumentation (omics) and
computational tools (big data and artificial intelligence) to
better understand the links between foods, individuals, and
health. This knowledge is then being used to design foods
to meet the specific nutritional requirements of each person,
which will lead to improved health and wellbeing.
It is clear that modern science is transforming the food
supply. It will be important to ensure that these new tech-
nologies are carefully tested before being implemented so
as to assess and reduce any potential risks. Moreover, it will
be important for food companies to be transparent about
the principles behind these new technologies, as well as
their potential risks and benefits, so that consumers can
make informed choices and regulators can develop appro-
priate legal frameworks. It is certainly an exciting time to
be a food scientist. The discipline is rapidly changing and
the authors believe that there will be many more innovations
that can potentially improve the food supply and ensure
that all the people on the planet have access to an affordable,
healthy and sustainable diet.
Disclosure statement
e authors declare that they have no known competing nancial
interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to inuence
the work reported in this paper.
Funding
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation
of China (No. 21808187), the National Key Research and Development
Program of China (No. 2017YFD0400200-4), the Key Research and
Development Program of Shaanxi Province (No. S2022-YF-YBNY-0331)
and the Innovation Talents Promotion Plan of Shaanxi Province
(2020KJXX-034).
ORCID
Fuguo Liu http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1645-0976
David Julian McClements http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9016-1291
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Article Info Supplementation of cereals based food with legumes is an excellent vehicle for providing proteins, particularly in baked foods like biscuits, cookies, and cakes which are widely consumed due to their long shelf life and good eating quality. This research was conducted with the aim to develop and evaluate the nutritional quality of common bean based snack food (cookies) incorporated with wheat flour. The wheat-common bean flour blends were prepared by D-optimal mixture design software in five different blending ratios: T1 (50%Wheat: 50% Common beans), T2 (62.5wheat:37.5 common bean), T3 (75% wheat: 25 % common bean), T4 (87.5% wheat: 12.5% common bean and control (wheat 100%). Cookies were developed based on standards methods. Proximate compositions and functional property of composite flour were analyzed based on international standard methods. The highest values of ash content were recorded for T4(wheat 50% & common bean 50%) while the lowest values of ash content were noted for T1 (wheat control 100%). The protein content of wheat-cowpea composite flour was high in treatment T4 (wheat 50% &common-bean 50%) while low in T1 (wheat 100%). The developed cookies were accepted by panelists even though their degree of preferences differs.Generally, cookies developed from wheat-common bean composite flour showed high content of protein and mineral contents. Therefore, incorporation of common bean in wheat based cookies might be used to tackle protein-energy malnutrition.
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