Skip to content

In Processing, there were more very detailed new processing methods in our original long list – but they are too detailed for our purposes. Because of the amount of findings and the first assessment stage by the CDIs, we thus limit to the following selection:

Nutrient recovery

An ideal would be that within the framework of food value creation, reusable by-products are generated, whose potential for nutrient recovery is exploited in accordance with the circular economy. Agricultural products not only contribute to nutrition, but also to the production of energy and materials in a sustainable in the sense of a sustainable bioeconomy, which leads to a change in the way farmers see themselves. The material and energetic use of agricultural raw materials,

including residual materials, is an option for substitutes for fossil raw materials, but without having a significant impact on food prices to a significant extent. Biological resources and residual materials are used efficiently and consistently, and the producing economy is converted to a renewable raw material base.


Sources:;; FOSTER automated search - topic modelling

Food hygiene

The so-called “food hygiene package”, regulating food safety, has a significant influence on SFSCs development. Composed of the Reg. 852/2004 (on the hygiene of all foodstuffs), Reg. 853/2004 (specific hygiene requirements on food of animal origin), and Reg. 854/2004 as amended, it aims at ensuring the safety of the food from farm to fork, in an integrated approach. According to the principle of flexibility, food hygiene rules are to be applied in a way that is proportionate to the risk posed by particular food operations, methods of production or establishments, through two levels of flexibility. Direct supply to final consumers, small quantities and private domestic use may be excluded from the scope of the regulation, while derogation can be applied in specific circumstances from the technical requirements laid down in Annex I and Annex II of Reg. 854/2005 for the benefit of small businesses to facilitate the implementation of HACCP principles. The rules also permit the adoption of national measures adapting the technical requirements in case of small businesses using traditional methods or belonging to regions that are subject to special geographical constraints.


Sources:;; Conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety and suitability of food at all stages of the food chain (FAO):

High-pressure processing and selected non-thermal food preservation methods

Preserving food using high pressure instead of heat to retain nutrients and freshness. High-intensity ultrasound processing is one among the several non-thermal processing methods, which is used alone or in combination with other methods. It improves food quality significantly and is thus considered beneficial. It seems to have much potential. Another potential is dedicated to minimal processing with technologies conserving food without using significant heat.


Sources:; tHLM88&sig=kXxn4UOgztiyCUkpIYR2a1fnYPA#v=onepage&q=food%20processing%20trends&f=false;;;; FOSTER automated search - topic modelling

Advanced food packaging and intelligent labels

Introducing innovative packaging solutions and labels with improved functionality and information (see also Storing).



Cultured/ In-Vitro Meat

Cultured, lab-grown or in vitro meat utilizes technology to produce meat from animal (stem) cells without killing the animal. As stem cells can be the source for pretty much every type of cell it might be possible to change the biochemical composition of meat to make it a healthier or specialized dietary product while also reducing concerns around animal welfare. Worldwide start-ups have already been formed to cultivate meat from different animal (stem) cells since 2016.


Sources: FOSTER automated search - topic modelling;;;

Tomato paste is the most widespread industrial product worldwide

Tomato paste is the most widespread industrial product worldwide. Few large companies distribute it and most of it comes from China, California and Europe.


Sources: Mahlke, Stefan (2019): Atlas der Globalisierung. Welt in Bewegung. Berlin: Le monde diplomatique, p. 30-31,


FutuResilience project application:;;

Natural Preservatives and Milder Processing Methodsl

Preservation of food is essential for prolonging shelf-life and ensuring food safety. Modern processing technologies aim at gentle preservation, a combination of preservative factors and their interaction and the use of natural rather than chemically synthetised preservatives. Reason behind it is the retention of food quality with high nutritional values for health.


Sources: FOSTER automated search - topic modelling; Project Fit4FOOD2030:

High-level machinery in small-scale food chains

High-level aseptic filling machine in small-scale food processing for improved food safety in short food supply chains.


Source: FAIRCHAIN publication (;

Alternative protein sources

Consumption of sufficient dietary protein is fundamental to muscle mass maintenance and overall health. However, the production of sufficient amounts of conventional animal-based protein to meet future global food demands represents a challenge. Edible insects, plant-based, fermented, cultured meat and micro-algae have recently been proposed as alternative protein sources that may be produced in a more sustainable way and may contribute to ensuring global food security.



Short Food Supply chains in production/ Local or regional food cycles

With increasing globalisation, the food system is also changing. As a result of these developments, more and more people are attaching increasing importance to sustainable nutrition and local food cycles. Regional products are particularly popular with the urban population. This development has led to a wide range of social innovations related to local food production and consumption. "Do-it-together" approaches, such as urban gardening, can promote the sustainable use and design of public space in communities and the cultivation of food in cities. Short food supply chains involve as few intermediaries as possible, connecting local suppliers with local consumers more directly compared to conventional (longer) supply chains.


Sources: Project DAKIS:;

The transparent product

The rise of Industry 4.0 and IOT application produces an enormous amount of data, which allows to re-trace of the entire production process, the logistics and the subsequent processing of the products. The information can be stored in a digital product memory. This product memory gives the customer greater access to information at purchase and it opens up greater repair and reuse possibilities, as repair and service workers can gain a better understanding of the production process and the use of a product, which will allow for a better repair service and longer use. In the food sector, customers are gaining greater access to information through voluntary labels about livestock farming and government recommended labels about a products health impact.


Sources: Project DAKIS:;

Increased requirement for transparency and monitoring of supply chain

Many consumers demand more transparency and monitoring of complex supply chains, which have become non-transparent due to increased specialization and international division of labour.


Sources: Project DAKIS:;"

4D/5D/6D printing of food

4D food printing applications have mainly focused on achieving desirable colour, shape, flavour, and nutritional properties of 3D printed materials. 5D and 6D printing can print very complex structures with improved strength and less material than do 3D and 4D printing.


High/ Ultra-Processed Food

A classification for food categorizes food according to the extent of food processing rather than in terms of nutrient content. Ultra-processed food and drink products are regarded as convenient, safe, affordable and highly palatable. However, studies have linked a higher intake of ultra-processed foods with higher risks of cancer, obesity, hypertension or dyslipidaemia.


Sources: FOSTER automated search - topic modelling;;

Functional foods incl. pre- and probiotics

Functional foods (incl. pro- and prebiotics) affect beneficially physiological target functions in the human body, beyond adequate nutritional effects, in a way relevant to an improved state of health and well-being and/or reduction of risk of disease. These health claims influence purchase decisions among consumers and drive the demand for functional foods as they promote better health, increase longevity and prevent the onset of chronic diseases.


Sources: FOSTER automated search - topic modelling;

Novel Food

Novel food has entered the food market in the last two decades. It is based on different innovations like new isolated food ingredients, micro-organisms or novel animal ingredients like insects or new production processes. Despite much interest in Western population due to their nutritional and environmental advantages, novel food products also have very high product failure rates.


Sources: FOSTER automated search - topic modelling;

Use of Aquafaba

The recovery of legume cooking water (Aquafaba) to be used as food raw materials in various processes means reducing food waste.



Edible packaging

Edible films and coatings formulations based on biopolymers and active compounds extracted from biowastes offer great opportunities to decrease the devastating overuse of plastic-based packaging.



New fermentation techniques and biotechnology in food production

Using new microbial fermentation and biotech methods to create novel food products. There are different new and old approaches: 1) Fermentation, now precision fermentation 2) Biotechnology Fermentation: Food fermentation is the process of creating food or changing the properties of food using microbes. Many cultures started fermenting foods to preserve them. For example, fermenting vegetables allowed people living in places with harsh winters to eat them year-round. Cheese is another fermented food that lasts much longer than its previous form, milk. For some foods, like olives, fermentation makes an inedible or bad-tasting food edible or more palatable.



Coffee innovation

Coffee is causing deforestation at an ‘alarming rate’ - could a beanless brew be the solution? The caffeinated brew uses superfoods and plant-based waste ingredients like date seeds to mimic the molecular structure of coffee. As the world's climate heats up, coffee farms - specifically those growing the more delicate arabica variety favoured by baristas - are moving uphill, destroying forests along the way in the search for cooler climes. Deforestation is the second leading cause of climate change after the burning of fossil fuels. Studies have shown that by 2050 roughly half the land currently used to grow coffee could be unproductive thanks to climate change.



Processed food sector

The term “processed food” is defined (OECD p. 224ff.) as any food that has been altered in some way from its raw state. The processed food sector accounts for a significant share of income generation and employment and is essential to maintaining a steady global supply of safe, affordable, and nutritious foods and is thus key to supporting food security and nutrition.



Monopolies and dependencies on providers

Monopolies and dependencies on providers are increasing and are intended by some large companies, e.g. for seeds or the combination of some crops and fertilisers or pesticides.

Sources: EN:; DE: