Thought for Food Blog

Why buy local food?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

09-Dec-2016 12:25:17

Interest in local food is growing. Consumers choose to buy local foods for a wide variety of reasons, including their perceived nutritional superiority and health benefits, advantages for the local economy, and to help protect the environment.

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Topics: labelling, food quality, Christmas, organic, packaging, flavour, nutrients, fruit, vegetables, meat, retail and marketing, food production, environment and sustainability, food economics, consumer behaviour, local foods, plant-based diets

Food Fraud Costs the Global Food Industry $10-15 Billion Annually

Posted by Chris Cattini

04-Apr-2016 10:00:00

In 2008, melamine was added to milk and infant formula to increase its protein content. This led to the hospitalisation of around 54,000 infants, 6 deaths from kidney stones and, ultimately, a number of criminal prosecutions, resulting in 2 executions.

In 2013, horsemeat was found in burgers and ready meals sold in UK supermarkets. Although not physically harmed, consumers – who thought they were eating beef – were less than happy. The incident highlighted the vulnerability of the food supply chain and Tesco, one of the supermarkets selling the adulterated meat, underwent – €300 million drop in market value.

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Topics: milk and milk substitutes, food safety, labelling, organic, honey, meat, dairy, regulations and guidance, contaminants, traceability, food fraud, food economics, analytical techniques

Foraging for Food Security

Posted by Naomi McGrath

01-Nov-2014 10:41:00

The leaves are changing colour and falling from the trees, the weather has turned wet and windy, and the nights are drawing in. Autumn is well and truly here. But while the downturn in the weather can sometimes have us feeling a little gloomy, the coming of autumn is also a time that gets many people thinking about going out into the countryside to pick fruit from heavily laden trees and explore the forest floors for curious forms of fungi.

There are estimated to be over 50,000 species of edible plants in the world and many different edible mushrooms, yet in the industrialised world almost all of our food comes from just a handful of species, picked not from the trees but from the supermarket shelves. 

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Topics: food security, antioxidants, nutrition, protein, nutrients, vegetables, fibre, magnesium, calcium, vitamins and minerals, environment and sustainability, food economics

How Important is Food Texture?

Posted by Dave Howard

29-Nov-2013 14:49:00

Most people obsess over flavour – everything from ice cream to cheese to chocolate. However, food professionals, from chefs to manufacturers, know that creaminess, crispiness and chewiness is just as important and crucial in making something appealing to consume.

Ingredion are a company whose Texture Centre of Excellence helps the food industry achieve the perfect consistency for their products - 'The magic begins here,' reads the website. Texture is big business and the science of food structure is known as food rheology.

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Topics: texture, sensory perception, food economics, consumer behaviour, cognitive function

Robot Farmers

Posted by Dave Howard

28-Feb-2013 11:09:00

In November 2012, Harper Adams University College hosted AgRobots – a specialist, half-day workshop dealing with research and development in robotics applied to precision farming.

Showcasing Anglo-Japanese collaboration, AgRobots featured presentations by Professor Noboru Noguchi, Professor for Vehicle Robotics, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. Professor Noguchi also lead a workshop on the subject of Robotic Farming Systems, with a particular focus on the use of multiple robots.

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Topics: agriculture, food economics

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