Future Food: Rising food trends in Thailand’s food industry
As an agricultural country, Thailand is highly knowledgeable on various food processing techniques. With future food being one of the food trends on the rise in the food industry, with the right direction, it can drive Thailand’s food industry and push forward Thailand’s economic development.
For this, the National Food Institute (NFI) was entrusted by the Ministry of Industry to take advantage of the current food trends and elevate the food industry. In return, this allowed them to launch the project in 2017 known as “Elevating Food Manufacturers for Future Food Industry Project.”
Types of Future Food
There are four categories under future food: functional food, medical food, organic food, and novel food.
Functional food is a type of food that people consume to attain certain benefits unattainable with other types of food, usually for disease prevention or improving health condition. To achieve it, the additional ingredients added to the food tend to have physiological benefits and/or chronic disease risk reduction for the consumer.
Medical food is a type of food intended for people with certain diseases needing to manage their dietary requirements. This means the food they consume will be adjusted and formulated specially for their needs, for example creating lower sodium content food for patients with kidney disease.
One of the food sectors rapidly expanding in the country, organic food is a type of food that has been grown or farmed without any use of artificial chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics. This type of future food is currently very popular in Thailand.
Novel food is a type of food that are produced by a method unheard of to be used for food or that are not known to be consumed often before. One example of a novel food is the oil rich of omega-3 fatty acids from krills.
Main objective of the Future Food project
For NFI’s 2017 project, its main goal is to increase the standard of Thailand’s Future Food Industry by building a supply chain network for the entire country.
However, other than the main objective, there are other targets the government body wishes to achieve, which are increasing the quality, nutrition, and safety level of Thai food products and services. This means that food safety management would need to be more efficient than present.
Another goal was to provide a better quality of life for Thai farmers, which is accomplished by encouraging these farmers to add value to their goods and grow produce that are in trend globally. Additionally, attracting investors to this growing food industry and enhancing skilled labor is another aim from this project.