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 fruitJeff 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
Late-season symptoms on C. acutatum infected strawberry. (Photo credit: Oleg Daugovish, UCCE)
Berries
July 5, 2016
Scout For Anthracnose Fruit Rot In Berries
Warm weather, humidity, and rainfall create favorable conditions for this disease. Read More
SWD On Raspberry (Photo credit: Hannah Burrack)
Berries
June 6, 2016
Insect Pest Hits Southeastern Berry Growers Hard
North Carolina State researcher reminds growers they need to be proactive with spotted wing drosophila. Read More
Haskap berries (Photo credit: haskapa.com)
Berries
June 1, 2016
Growers In Canada See Bright Future For Haskap Berry
Consumers' interest in health benefits of berries helping to fuel interest in this new berry. Read More
legal justice, courts
Berries
May 4, 2016
University of California Sued Over Strawberry Breeding – Again
This time it’s a private strawberry breeding company, which says the statewide breeding program has been decimated by UC-Davis. Read More
tomatoes and strawberries
Berries
April 27, 2016
New Herbicide For Tomatoes, Strawberries
The product from Helm Agro US is registered to control more than 100 broadleaf, grass, and sedge species. Read More
(Photo credit: USDA)
Berries
April 19, 2016
Graduate Student Wins Prize For Space Strawberries
Growth chambers could be the future of small fruit and vegetable production in space. Read More
The retractable roof and walls are controlled by a computer.
Berries
April 1, 2016
Strawberry Greenhouse Wins Sustainability Award
Unusual — for strawberries — British retractable roof greenhouse gets top honor from one of the largest retail chains. Read More
The Latest
Berries
July 27, 2016
Bird Damage Plagues Most Fruit Growers
There’s no silver bullet, but here are several techniques to annoy and deter birds. Read More
Berries
July 26, 2016
Wish Farms Commits $100K To Food Safety …
Central Florida berry operation will donate $20,000 annually over the next five years to fund various research projects backed by the Center for Produce Safety. Read More
Berries
July 12, 2016
Automated Strawberry Picker: One Step Cl…
Company receives U.S. Patent approval for continuous picking wheel on the machine. Read More
Berries
July 5, 2016
Scout For Anthracnose Fruit Rot In Berri…
Warm weather, humidity, and rainfall create favorable conditions for this disease. Read More
Berries
June 6, 2016
Insect Pest Hits Southeastern Berry Grow…
North Carolina State researcher reminds growers they need to be proactive with spotted wing drosophila. Read More
Berries
June 1, 2016
Growers In Canada See Bright Future For …
Consumers' interest in health benefits of berries helping to fuel interest in this new berry. Read More
Berries
May 4, 2016
University of California Sued Over Straw…
This time it’s a private strawberry breeding company, which says the statewide breeding program has been decimated by UC-Davis. Read More
Berries
April 27, 2016
New Herbicide For Tomatoes, Strawberries
The product from Helm Agro US is registered to control more than 100 broadleaf, grass, and sedge species. Read More
Berries
April 19, 2016
Graduate Student Wins Prize For Space St…
Growth chambers could be the future of small fruit and vegetable production in space. Read More
Berries
April 1, 2016
Strawberry Greenhouse Wins Sustainabilit…
Unusual — for strawberries — British retractable roof greenhouse gets top honor from one of the largest retail chains. Read More
Berries
March 31, 2016
New Report Highlights Farmworker Opportu…
Extensive labor standards, on-the-job training, and strong work ethic create upward mobility. Read More
Berries
March 31, 2016
Breeding For The Ideal Fresh Blueberry
While sweetness might be the top attraction for consumers, a new study found poor texture was their biggest turnoff. Read More
Berries
March 30, 2016
Fighting Phytophthora In Blueberries
The authors of a recently published study have identified which blueberry cultivars you might want to consider planting in certain soils. Read More
Berries
March 29, 2016
Mechanization In The Berry Patch Can Mak…
Mechanical harvesters could be more of a necessity than a luxury for many fruit growers. Read More
Berries
March 27, 2016
Use Common Sense Growing Berries That Ar…
Follow these tips to ensure your end product is wholesome and pathogen-free. Read More
Berries
March 21, 2016
FMC Fungicide Triggers New FRAC Group
Multi-site mode of action classified in new group by Fungicide Resistance Action Committee. Read More
Berries
March 15, 2016
Longtime American Fruit Grower Contribu…
National Raspberry & Blackberry Association recognizes Charlie O’Dell at annual conference in Williamsburg, VA. Read More
Berries
February 27, 2016
Tips To Step Up Your Strawberry Nutrient…
Learn how to maximize nutrient uptake to ensure strong, healthy yields in your strawberry crop. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]