Short Communication

Food Technology

Food and Agriculture Spectrum Journal

2021 Volume 02 Number 03 May-Jun

A review on technological innovation in the food industry

Chavan S.1*, Rajguru S.2, Ojha S.3

1* Shubham Chavan, Student, Food technology, MIT ADT university, Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India.

2 Shantanu Rajguru, Student, Food Technology, MIT ADT University, Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India.

3 Shivani Ojha, Student, Food Technology, MIT ADT University, Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India.

The ever-growing population in India has put forth exciting challenges to food technologists. The utmost priority of this generation of food technologists is to feed and cater to the growing population with limited sources. Technological innovation in the food sector has a quantum effect on the assembly and distribution of food. So as to sustain in this competitive world it is important to adopt and adapt to the newer technologies available. With the increased demand for packaged foods and drinks during the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the adaptation of newer technologies has become all the more important, as the demand for safe and nutritious food has increased. The technologies available in the market provide innovative solutions, assist pricing strategy and also live up to consumer expectations. The use of technology also changes the consumer’s perception of the product. Advancements in the food sector also help to create a digitally traceable and safer food system. Indian food industries are now accepting these novel strategies and technologies to keep up with the competitive world. This paper is an effort to review the technological advancements available and their application in the food industry for enhancing the processing and distribution techniques. The paper identifies different aspects of technological innovation for enhancing food preservation and processing techniques.

Keywords: food industry, Preservation Technology, High Pressure Processing, Frozen Food Technology.

Corresponding Author How to Cite this Article To Browse
Shubham Chavan, Student, Food technology, MIT ADT university, Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Shubham Chavan, Shantanu Rajguru, Shivani Ojha, A review on technological innovation in the food industry. FASJ. 2021;02(03):71-.
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Manuscript Received Review Round 1 Review Round 2 Review Round 3 Accepted
2021-05-01 2021-05-12 2021-05-28 2021-05-31 2021-07-07
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© 2021by Shubham Chavan, Shantanu Rajguru, Shivani Ojhaand Published by The Genesis of Science Research and Literature Foundation. This is an Open Access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ unported [CC BY 4.0].


The Indian Food Processing sector is also referred to as ‘The sunrise sector’, as the Government of India through the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is calling out for investments in the food sector. It is anticipated that by 2024 the Indian Food Sector is likely to bait U$ 33 Billion investments and generate employment for up to 8 million people. India processes only 10% of its agricultural output while the rest is primarily consumed. Within the last five years, there has been a considerable increase in India-based food start-ups.

Food technology is a link between the industrial world and the agricultural sector. As the demand for processed and packaged food is escalating the need for adaptation of newer technologies is important. In today’s date, people are not against the application of scientific knowledge in food but are inquisitive about knowing the technology applied. As technological innovations are gaining popularity in the food sector, food safety and quality is a subject of great consideration.

Many technologies, types of equipment, and ideas are now available worldwide due to globalization. This gives scope for the evolution of newer technologies for food processing. Due to this; food production, processing, preservation, packaging, storage, and distribution are subjected to undergo metamorphosis in recent years.  The food and beverages we consume today are seeing new-fangled changes. The increased demand for probiotic yogurt and mushrooming of fried chicken in the Indian Market are good examples of the same.

With the escalating population density, the demand for food is also increasing, but the sources available are limited. Hence, the simpler production strategies are mandatory with minimal losses at the time of storage and handling. To maintain the balance of food availability and demand to the increasing population, there is a need for the application of technology for rapid production without harming the natural resources.

The Green Revolution(1950-1960)  was welcomed by the Indian Government to minimize the aperture between food demand and food availability. The revolution made India one of the leading food

producers in the world, which was once a food deficient country. The outcome of the revolution was a record-breaker grain output of 131 million tonnes in 1978-79.

Indian farmers are experimenting with the indigenous practices related to alternative agriculture, although research within the area is a smaller amount frequently funded. Moreover, well-to-do farmers are adopting newer technological solutions which are largely conducted and supported by private firms.  Ethical analysis is often applied to establish a link between technology and socio-economic aspects and environmental sustainability. The introduction of GM technology in agriculture has put forward questions on environmental sustainability.  There is a huge dispute that research and development and infrastructure are exorbitant and poorly regulated.

This paper is an effort to review the technological innovations which will be brought in food processing to reinforce the standards of the food industry in India. Also, this paper reviews the utilization of technological advancements like Robotics, Sensor technology, Artificial Intelligence(AI), Blockchain Technology, Eco-friendly packaging techniques, Nanotechnology, and Biotechnology, etc. to enhance the standards of food processing within the Indian context. The paper also identifies modern food preservation techniques like High-Pressure Processing (HPP), frozen foods Technology, Vacuum, and Freeze Drying, Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), Cold Plasma, and Pulsed Electric Field.

Literature review

When one thinks about food, technology is the last thing that crosses one’s mind. However, with the ever-increasing population and demand, the use of technology in the food sector is evolving rapidly. Technological innovations increasing the production rate in short intervals of time also yielding food products of higher quality. Innovative digital opportunities having a sustainable approach are inciting changes in the food sector(1). Demand for nutritious and safe food, diverse agro-climatic conditions, fierce competition, and the need to produce minimal waste have put forth exciting challenges before the food sector, and therefore urging for new technologies(2).

Food industries nowadays are using technologies such as robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence, and blockchain to create transparency of the food products right from the farm to fork. Nanoscience and biotechnology are playing their roles inefficient packaging techniques and modification in the existing products. Old age techniques will not work in today’s date as they cannot cater to higher levels of transparency, product quality, and storage conditions. Instead, marketers opt for the latest technological innovations(3).

The microflora of foods is of utmost importance to the food producers, processors, and consumers, and therefore the food manufacturers and distributors are living up to the consumers’ demand for food products that are safe, nutritious, and suitable to be used. In some cases, the food products could be inadequately processed and/or contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms(4). The food handlers should have appropriate knowledge of the number of bacteria and their behavior before and after processing in the food system. Complete knowledge of bacterial behavior is necessary as it enlightens storage time and temperature, regulatory practices, and implementation of HACCP guidelines. As there is high consumer demand for safe and nutritious food, the food sectors are trying to seek innovative technologies to produce premium quality food, ensure safe and reasonable cost for the buyer, and at an equivalent time enhance food safety by reducing or eliminating foodborne bacterial microorganism. Likewise, novel processing and preservation techniques could be implemented as a tool to deliver food with amplified functional and nutritional value. A number of these new processing techniques include advanced thermal and nonthermal technologies that use mechanical, electrical, and electromagnetic energies and hurdle technology. This paper addresses 6 such advanced food processing techniques including High-Pressure Processing (HPP), Frozen Food Technology, Vaccum drying, Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), Cold Plasma, and Pulsed Electric Field.

Food Processing and Preservation Technology

The upcoming techniques like high-pressure processing, frozen food technology, vacuum frying, electrical impedance spectroscopy, pulsed electric field, cold plasma and ultrasound

and are bidding adieu to the traditional thermal treatments of food preservation. These techniques are used to alter the functional and nutritional properties thereby impacting the shelf life of foods and beverages. The commercial use of radiofrequency, microwave, infrared, and UV radiations in food processing and preservation is additionally common within the Indian food industry, especially for food drying, baking, and decontamination applications(5).

  1. High-Pressure Processing (HPP)- Is a non-thermal food processing technique that kills harmful pathogenic microorganisms with the application of high pressure that ranges from  400-600Mpa. Although the pressure is high, there is a minimal effect on flavor, appearance, and nutrition value. This technology is more appropriate for liquids and high moisture content solid foods. HPP  is widely used for the preservation of meat and fish products and fruits and vegetable products such as jams, purees, and juices. However, in India, the applications of  HPP are limited to some products such as fruit and vegetable juice and RTE meals. The concept of HPP  in India was first introduced by Raw Pressery in 2013, in fresh natural juice. Steadily, the HPP technology has now reached out to RTE segments in India as well. For example, ready-to-eat curries and meals using this technology were introduced by NuTy, a venture of Tulita Ahara in January 2020(5).  Retort technology is now being replaced by HPP for the RTE products in India.  HPP technology due to its high pressure and low temperature retains the maximum flavor of the processed products. HPP can be explored in other food categories addressing the demand for natural and minimally processed food products.
  2. Frozen Food Technology-The Indian frozen foods market is growing at a rate of 16% since 2019, due to an increased demand for natural products. Some domestic companies in India are introducing a superior freezing technology known as Individual Quick Freezing (IQF). IQF may be a quick freezing process instead of block freezing where larger ice crystals affect the standard of the merchandise. IQF is applied to smaller pieces of fruits and vegetables, meat, and fish products where the pieces undergo fast freezing individually, which does not allow the

  1. formation of larger ice crystals. In India, companies such as Saraf Foods, Ghousia Foods, Taj Frozen Foods India, Capricorn Group, Mother India Farms, B.Y. Agro & Infra Ltd,   produce IQF fruits and vegetable products.
  2. Vacuum Frying and Freeze Drying- Various start-ups in India have introduced healthy snacks like vacuum fried and freeze-dried snacks. Companies like Frubites, Wayanad Organic Research, Crimz, Orbela Agro Foods, etc. have introduced vacuum fried snacks in India. In vacuum frying, the frying temperature is less than the atmospheric temperature. The amount of oil adsorbed is different in vacuum frying as compared to atmospheric frying. The low pressure during frying helps in reducing the oil content of the end product. Vacuum fried chips contain about 50-80% less fat than the regular fried chips at normal atmospheric pressure and retain up to 95% of the nutrients. Companies are using the vacuum frying or freeze-drying process as the nutrition content, original flavor, and original shape of the ultimate product remain almost unaltered.  However, the rise in product cost is that the major disadvantage for marketers.
  3. Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) - is a successful scientific technique for the electrochemical system and has recently shown popularity in the food sector for food quality and safety assessment. Due to the characteristic differences in livestock, there is a huge variation in the quality attributes of meat and fish products. Thus, in order to obtain uniform quality for each product, there is a demand for a rapid and online detection system for monitoring processing of the product. EIS is advantageous as it is fast, cheap, nondestructive, and easily applicable and also has the ability to replace the age-old methods which time consuming, costly, and require manual labor. EIS is applied in the food industry to check the ripeness of fruits, identify adulteration in meat, fish, and dairy products, understand physicochemical properties, and identify pathogenic microorganisms.
  4. Cold Plasma Technology- it is a nonthermal food processing technique that utilizes energetic, reactive gases to deactivate pathogenic microorganisms present on meats, poultry, and
  1. horticultural commodity. This versatile method uses electricity and gas, like oxygen, nitrogen, or helium whereas antimicrobial chemical agents are not required. The microbial activity is reduced to greater than 5 logs for pathogens like Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus. The effective treatment timing can range from 3 seconds to 120 seconds. The use of cold plasma increases the shelf life of the products with minimal impact on the physicochemical and organoleptic qualities of food(6). The major disadvantage of this technique is that it is in quite an early development stage in India and has complex equipment. Also, the sensorial and quality impacts of this technique are unexplored to a great extent.
  2. Pulsed Electric Field- this too is a non-thermal method that utilizes short electric pulses of high intensity for the deactivation of pathogenic microorganisms and causes a minimal detrimental effect on the quality and sensorial attributes of food.  The primary aim of this technique is consumer satisfaction with premium quality foods. The basic principle of the PEF technology is the application of short electric pulses of order 10-80kV/cm for just a fraction of a second. This technique has proved to be advantageous as it effectively kills the pathogenic microorganisms with maximum retention of color, flavor, texture, and nutritional value. This technique is widely applied to liquid or semi-solid foods. A number of studies have proved PEF treatments to be successful on the microbial inactivation in milk, milk products, egg products, juice, and other liquid foods.


The review was aimed to study the technological innovations in the food industry. Technology and innovation run hand-in-hand and it is necessary to evolve with the changing times otherwise we will be left behind and unable to handle the hunger of this growing population. There is an urgent need to draw attention to the research and development of existing and upcoming technologies in the developing world. The key areas identified from the review where technological innovation and research needs to be concentrated are:

  • Complete transparency in product development right from farm-to-fork.

  • Coordinated informative linkage amongst the numerous stakeholders of the food chain.
  • Efficient strategies for communication and access to information using blockchain.
  • Eco-friendly packaging techniques with the use of nanoscience and technology.
  • Genetic modification of crops by the application of biotechnology and nanoscience.
  • Novel food processing and preservation techniques.

In India, there is a need to create awareness amongst several stakeholders including farmers, food processing personnel, regulators, and consumers about the various innovations in this sector.


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