Food Industry: Customized Food Predicted To Become A Trend In The Future

'Palani Potatoes' sit on a plate after being cooked at the City Spice curry house on Brick Lane in London, Britain January 7, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Simon Dawson)

Personalized food may no longer be just a dream for the increasing number of consumers who want to get involved in the creation of what goes inside their systems as a new report suggested that personalizing food and beverages is possible in the future.

According to Just-Food, personalization of food and drinks is already a steadily growing trend in giant businesses. One of the companies that tried this method is Pepsi. The food mammoth launched its "Drinkfinity" initiative in Brazil in 2014.

The Drinkfinity program allowed customers to add a "pod" of various ingredients to water. These ingredients are based on the needs of the customers involved. Senior Director of Nutrition Sciences at PepsiCo, Sue Gatenby said, "Personalized nutrition allows greater choice and flexibility to consumers. We have seen growing trends that consumers seek to identify personally with products."

Sue went on to explain that consumer interest in personalized food and drinks spurred the industry to start allowing consumers to become involved in creating products that suit their needs and lifestyles.

Former Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe explained that personalized nutrition is a program that will respond to the individual needs of consumers who have different expectations and eating habits.

While the future could see a good number of food sects taking on the initiative, Brabeck-Letmathe noted that there is a long way to go before other companies join the initiative. He said food experts have inadequate information on how to tackle personalization of food at the moment.

One of the key aspects of personalized nutrition is the use of DNA to develop food and beverages that tend to the needs of an individual. DNA-testing startup, Habit, was one of the companies that studied how the human body works and what types of food will encourage healthy eating.

Habit Founder Neil Grimmer developed a kit that consumers can use with individual recommendations for each buyer. Genetic biomarkers, lifestyle choices, and biometrics are integrated into Grimmer's kit to help consumers have more customized eating habits.

Meanwhile, International Business Machines (IBM) recently announced the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) program in partnership with McCormick that will allow product developers to study and learn about new flavor combinations.

In a blog post, IBM said the company's Research AI for Product Composition will give McCormick assistance in coming up with new flavors. IBM and McCormick's AI project will include consumer preference, sensory science, and flavor palettes that will help in the development of new food flavors.

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