Experts Serve Up Top Food Trends For 2014

Kid Eating VeggiesUniversity of Florida’sInstitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) faculty work on myriad of food-related topics. As 2014 approaches, here are just a few of their food-related predictions — everything from better fruit packaging to a new focus on reducing food waste — that may soon be on the public’s radar:

  • Good taste, less waste: Food researchers like Doug Archer say roughly one-third of food produced for humans around the globe is lost or wasted each year – 1.3 billion tons of it. Discussion of this problem is expected to make its way from food industry and academic circles and into American homes, with home food preparers becoming more sensitive to reducing food waste.
  • Fresher fruit: Jeff Brecht works on ways to improve fruit flavor and consumer experience. To that end, he’s worked with UF and University of California, Davis researchers on “modified atmosphere packaging” for a range of fruits, including berries and tomatoes. In that packaging, special polymers interact with fruit respiration so that oxygen is decreased while carbon dioxide is increased. The result? Handlers can wait longer to pick fruit; it takes longer to go bad.  And tropical and subtropical fruits can be held at higher temperatures to avoid flavor-robbing chilling injury.
  • Better-tasting home-grown tomatoes: Harry Klee, UF’s tomato-taste tinkerer, has worked for years to target the most universally consumer-pleasing tomato flavors. He and colleagues are poised this year to release two hybrid tomatoes, suitable for non-commercial growers, and both are said to knock it out of the park in taste tests.
  • Garlic: Sue Percival, chairman of IFAS’ Food Science and Human Nutrition department, and colleagues found modest changes in the immune responses of human subjects who consumed an aged garlic extract every day, as part of a six-month research study. A control group took placebos. Both groups kept health diaries and gave blood samples. The garlic didn’t prevent colds or flu, she said, but researchers did find that cold and flu symptoms were reduced between 30% and 50%.
  • Eat your broccoli: According to Archer, consumers will begin to focus more on vegetable consumption, both for better health and to lessen their environmental footprint. Demand may outpace supply, and while Food Safety Modernization Act requirements will help ensure safer produce, it will undoubtedly boost costs for growers, packers and grocers — and consumers.
  • And your mushrooms:  In a more recent study, Percival’s team tested shiitake mushrooms’ effect on human health outcomes. One group ate a daily serving of chopped, dried mushrooms; a second group ate two servings. Blood was taken from both groups at the start and end of the study. Both groups’ test results revealed “remarkable” beneficial changes in their immune-system regulating cytokines and immune function, she said.

Source: UF/IFAS

Topics: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Berries Stories

BerriesPractice Persistence When Battling Botrytis In Blueberries
September 30, 2014
Cognizance of resistance is key to managing formidable fungus. Read More
BerriesNew Fill-By-Weight Clamshell Filler For Blueberries
September 30, 2014
Lakewood Process Machinery's equipment offers a simplified user interface, minimized drop heights, a new dribble-gate system designed for an increased level of accuracy. Read More
BerriesDrought Could Impact Spring California Strawberry Crop
September 29, 2014
Ventura County expects reduction of acres planted as surface water availability takes a hit. Read More
BerriesFlorida Blueberry Growers Ready To Rise To The Occasion [Opinion]
September 29, 2014
Florida Blueberry Growers Association president Dudley Calfee provides state of the industry insight. Read More
BerriesDon’t Let Your Guard Slip When Taking On Thrips
September 27, 2014
Tiny insect pests can present big problems for blueberry growers. Read More
BerriesIs The Diaprepes Root Weevil An Emerging Blueberry Pest?
September 26, 2014
Reports indicate longtime citrus nuisance might be tempted by the fruit of another. Read More
BerriesBeat Blueberry Gall Midge
September 25, 2014
Due diligence required in the identification, tracking, and control of this flying fiend. Read More

The Latest

BerriesPractice Persistence When Battling Botrytis In Blueberr…
September 30, 2014
Cognizance of resistance is key to managing formidable fungus. Read More
BerriesNew Fill-By-Weight Clamshell Filler For Blueberries
September 30, 2014
Lakewood Process Machinery's equipment offers a simplified user interface, minimized drop heights, a new dribble-gate system designed for an increased level of accuracy. Read More
BerriesDrought Could Impact Spring California Strawberry Crop
September 29, 2014
Ventura County expects reduction of acres planted as surface water availability takes a hit. Read More
BerriesFlorida Blueberry Growers Ready To Rise To The Occasion…
September 29, 2014
Florida Blueberry Growers Association president Dudley Calfee provides state of the industry insight. Read More
BerriesDon’t Let Your Guard Slip When Taking On Thrips
September 27, 2014
Tiny insect pests can present big problems for blueberry growers. Read More
BerriesIs The Diaprepes Root Weevil An Emerging Blueberry Pes…
September 26, 2014
Reports indicate longtime citrus nuisance might be tempted by the fruit of another. Read More
BerriesBeat Blueberry Gall Midge
September 25, 2014
Due diligence required in the identification, tracking, and control of this flying fiend. Read More
BerriesIndigocrisp Blueberry Promises To Deliver Plenty Of Pop
September 24, 2014
Superior taste and texture traits are signature of new southern highbush cultivar. Read More
BerriesBotrytis Gray Mold Pressure Increasing With Humid Weath…
September 15, 2014
Michigan State University researcher offers tips to reduce the spread of spores. Read More
BerriesNew Tracking System Could Improve How Companies Ship Fr…
September 6, 2014
Researchers use RFID technology to find transport conditions suitable for strawberries. Read More
BerriesHigh Tunnels, Small Farms, And Strawberries
September 5, 2014
Saylor’s Farm experiments with hydroponic production yield earlier, higher-quality and more marketable crops. Read More
BerriesMichigan State University Extension Offers Tips To Prev…
August 26, 2014
Humidity, rainy periods conducive to disease development. Read More
BerriesFamiliar Face Settles In As New Florida Strawberry Asso…
August 14, 2014
Kenneth Parker’s deep roots in the community and knowledge of production challenges make a good combination for executive director role. Read More
BerriesNew Air Cleaner Inspection Conveyor Combo Now Available…
August 8, 2014
Low-cost packing equipment from Lakewood Process Machinery consists of a 30-inch-wide combo unit. Read More
BerriesTaste Tops Health Benefits For Blueberry Buyers
August 6, 2014
National surveys reveal flavor is what matters most to consumers. Read More
BerriesLow Blueberry Yields, Cane Collapse Due To Winter Injur…
August 5, 2014
Plants in Northeast, Michigan victims of polar vortex. Read More
BerriesStudy: Strawberry Web Tool Could Save $1.7 Million Over…
August 5, 2014
UF/IFAS researchers find spray advisory system also benefits the bottom line. Read More
BerriesNew Study Finds Simple Solution To Monitoring Spotted W…
July 31, 2014
UF/IFAS researchers are using a mixture of yeast, sugar, and water to lure, trap major berry pest. Read More