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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions on food manufacturing technologies.
Image with FAQ to represent Frequently Asked Questions

In this section you will find an answer to frequently asked questions related to the topic of food manufacturing technologies.

1. What is food manufacturing?

Food manufacturing involves a combination of procedures to achieve desirable modifications to raw materials. To remain competitive, food manufacturers need to address consumer needs; produce safe and high-quality food products; and offer competitive prices.

2. Why is technology important for food manufacturers?

Food manufacturers are exploring new innovative technology and digital solutions for food formulation and ingredients; food processing and preservation methods; and innovative and sustainable food packaging in order to meet the need for safer, healthier and sustainable foods and compete for consumer’s acceptance.

3. What are food additives?

Food additives, which are ingredients added to foods for specific technical and/or functional purposes during processing, storage or packaging. Food manufacturers use both natural and artificial ingredients to add to or to preserve the flavor, color, and texture of foods.

4. What are bioactives?

Bioactives are sources of functional molecules with recognised health effects in populations that would otherwise not be able to benefit from them. Health issues are an emerging concern to the world population, and therefore the food industry has focused on developing novel food products containing health promoting ingredients. Thus, bioactive natural products are considered a viable and safer substitute to satisfy the world market demand for new products.

5. What are functional foods?

The concept of functional foods appeared 40 years ago. A food can be described as functional when it has proved beneficial effects for the human health, beyond the normal nutritional effects. A functional food can improve the health and well-being of the consumer by reducing the risk of disease if it is consumed in usual amounts as part of a normal diet.

6. Are there challenges in the development of functional foods?

Yes, there are some challenges in the development of functional foods, particularly in which the direct use of some bioactives is involved. They can show problems of instability, react with other food matrix ingredients or present strong odour and/or flavours. To overcome the problems related to the direct use of bioactive extracts/compounds, microencapsulation is a relatively new technology that is used for the protection, stabilization and slow release of food ingredients and bioactive compounds.

7. What is the fourth industrial revolution?

The industrial revolution from industry 1.0 to industry 4.0 defines the changes in the way humans produce things. Over time, production has changed from handcraft to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. The fourth industrial revolution or industry 4.0 is the ongoing automation of traditional practices, using modern smart technology. Key elements of industry 4.0 include: Cyber-physical system; The Internet of things (IoT); Cloud computing; and Cognitive computing.

8. Does the food sector use industry 4.0 technologies?

The food industry is beginning to recognise the benefits of industry 4.0 and there are signs of growth of these technologies within the food industry for increased automation, improved communication and self-monitoring, and the production of smart machines that can analyze and diagnose issues without the need for human intervention.

9. What is active packaging?

Active packaging provides extra functions beyond providing a protective barrier for food and information to consumers. This includes oxygen-scavenging and intelligent functions, antimicrobial activity, atmosphere control, edibility and biodegradability. Intelligent packaging has been categorised as both a part of active packaging and as a separate entity.

10. What is intelligent packaging?

Intelligent packaging indicates and monitors the freshness of the packaged food, assisting in food quality and safety verification. Some examples of active and intelligent packaging include: Packaging Diagnostics; Freshness Indicators; Temperature Monitoring; Product Information; and Product Traceability.

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