This week, the Institute of Food Technologists conference (FIRST) was held virtually and it was the opportunity to advance knowledge, network, business, and push the future of food forward.
Food production and consumption require a large amount of resources including land, water, minerals, and energy, and results in substantial emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the food they consume. New initiatives to reduce the consumption of traditional animal-based foods in favor of meat alternatives, often associated with lower levels of emissions, are emerging. For instance, there is a growth in the development of new meat alternatives mimicking the taste and texture of meat, resulting in many novel plant-based meat alternatives being introduced in grocery stores and restaurant chains. In addition to the novel plant-based alternatives, several start-ups are currently developing blended meat products.
While there is a growth of novel meat alternatives being developed, little is known about consumer acceptance and demand for these novel foods.
This session provided valuable insights into this booming consumer trend. Moreover, the presenters focused on how different methods and a strong interdisciplinary collaboration between food companies and institutes (e.g., Impossible Foods, Good Food Institute), behavioral and nutrition scientists, sensory scientists, and policymakers are needed to advance the product development and reduce the risk of market failure.
The webinar is on-demand on the conference platform: https://iftfirst.org/
The next IFT conference will be held in Chicago in July 10-13, 2022