Why focus on R and D is required for overall food and drink portfolio to meet health standards

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Why focus on R and D is required for overall food and drink portfolio to meet health standards

21/02/2022 Publication :Pitch Author :Manish Aggarwal

Guest Column: Manish Aggarwal, Director, Bikano, Bikanervala Foods, mentions the F&B sector relies heavily on R&D to make the products healthier, tastier, more sustainable, stay fresh longer & more

The food and beverage (F&B) industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in India. The F&B industry is expected to reach $1264 million by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 14.2 per cent from 2020. Similar to many other industries, the F&B sector relies heavily on research and development (R&D) to make their products last longer & taste better. R&D in Food Industry has made it possible to enhance the shelf life of food items without compromising on taste and nutritional value.

Role of R&D in the food and beverage industry

In the food and beverage industry, R&D is undertaken to make food:

    Healthier
    More sustainable
    Tastier (even with less salt or sugar)
    Stay fresh longer
    Quicker to produce or chill
    Process more efficiently
    Better for defrosting and freezing
    With meat substitutes

Typical activities involved in R&D

In the search for products that last longer and fulfil the nutritional and health demands of the consumer, companies are constantly engaged in different kinds of R&D activities like:

    Developing a new product range of different flavours & new ingredients
    Coming up with ways to reduce costs without compromising product quality & taste.
    Improving the nutritional content, taste, or texture of the food/beverage.
    Devising methods to increase a product’s shelf life
    Creating healthier products i.e. products with less sugar or fat
    Coming up with ways to sustainable packaging.

How R&D is helping F&B companies to evolve and survive

In an ever-changing business landscape, standing still is no longer an option. With the digital revolution changing different aspects of our lives, technology is being a key enabler in transforming consumer expectations and behaviours. There’s an increasing shift in focus towards holistic health driven by the consumer trend of preference towards healthy food. R&D is offering a unique opportunity to F&B companies to introduce revolutionary products that meet customer needs. Here’s how:

Introducing new products

New product development is one of the most obvious projects where R&D is involved. Every phase of the product development process from the research into a concept to screening to consumer testing to test marketing to commercialisation, involves thorough research and development to come up with successful products.

Customising products to meet dietary needs

Over the past decade, there’s been plenty of research into microbes present in the gut, the way they impact the ability to digest foods and their chances of causing intestinal diseases. Sensory research is another area which is exploring differences in taste perception and raising questions like how does a person’s perception of taste impact the consumption habits, food choice and ultimately their wellbeing and health.

With enhanced knowledge about how a person’s microbial and genetic makeup impacts the diet, F&B manufacturers are able to come up with more personalised products to meet individual needs.

Meeting food safety and regulatory standards

When a government agency demands certain standards to be met whilst maintaining shelf life and food safety standards, it comes down to the R&D department to come with a solution for the same. Due to rising food safety concerns, companies nowadays are putting in place food safety research and development strategies to evaluate the risk of pathogen contamination as well from the likes of campylobacter, listeria and salmonella.

Bottom line

Research and development in the food and beverage industry can have a significant impact on sectoral developments if it can step in holistically in all operations and functions of a business. R&D not only promises maximum health benefits and meeting up to the demands of the consumer but, also massive cost reduction exercise in all functions

Reference link - https://www.pitchonnet.com/blog/2022/02/21/why-focus-on-rd-is-required-for-overall-food-drink-portfolio-to-meet-health-standards/

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