New food products
In order to develop a new food product, many people and agencies are involved; the food industry, consumers, and governmental regulatory agencies are intertwined. The most important factor is the consumer because they dictate the direction to the food industry by changing eating habits and food preferences. In addition, the consumer dictates their preference based on sensory acceptance and health considerations.
In the following time line, the past, present, and future of food choices is contemplated. It demonstrates the diversity that exists in products and packaging. No endorsement of the selected foods is intended; other examples could be used if you wish to use this information as a lead-in to an activity or discussion about the development of new food products.
The food scientist at a food company is challenged to develop a product that satisfies the consumers wants and needs and which also passes government and industry standards and inspection. Perhaps the most important aspect of product development is that the new product must show through consumer testing to a food companys management that it will make the company money.
Today, the demands the consumer places on the food industry include the following.
As the food industry responds to consumer demands, new technologies
are developed to meet the food industrys needs. Examples of new technologies
developed are included in the chart below.
Food industry innovations
|Area of inovation||What/Why|
|Production||improved handling, processing, and distributing of raw material, such as refrigerated rail cars|
|Nutrition||formulated inexpensive protein and vitamin supplements to prevent malnutrition or supplement the diets of the poor.|
in outer space
developed foods with high caloric density, compactness, and long term storage capabilities
developed foods that are compact and that can be prepared under weightless conditions
|Food processing||fabricated soybean protein products to look and taste like meat.|
|Food storage||increased storage life of fruits, vegetables, adn meat products when stored under stmosphere controlled conditions where the air is low in oxygen.|
|Equipment||developed mechanical harvesting machinery to lessen labor shortage problems and to reduce damage or raw product.|
|Food preservation||developed uniform quick freezing technology for perishable products using liquid nitrogen or cryogenic liquid; once thawed, the product's structure remains the same as when frozen|
|Food safety||prevented food illness with food preservation techniques, such as freezing and aseptic canning|
|Food quality||developed two methods to tenderize beef: inject proteolytic enzymes into animals before slaughter, and apply enzyme-salt mixtures to the surface of meat cuts|
|Technology||designed computer-controlled equipment for automatic bakeries, factories, etc.|
|Food standards||set standards for food quality
initiated ingredient labeling
For a printer-friendly version of this chart,
click on the icon to download.
Note: Must have Acrobat Reader.
Stages of a New Food
Looking at the stages of new product development within a food company provides an opportunity to show the different types of careers that are part of a food company. It is an interdisciplinary effort to develop new food products within industry; many departments are involved. Although the main emphasis of new product development is research and development (R&D), other departments or individuals on the team include:
How do all these departments work together? The following 10 stages show how the process of new product development unfolds.
Commitment to a New Food Product Development Program
Draft Plan(s) to Fulfill Company Objectives for New Product Development
Generate New Product(s) or Product Use Concept/Ideas
Screen, Test, and Prioritize Concepts
Translate Concept into Prototype
Refine Prototype through Consumer Sensory Tests
Scale-up Pilot Plant to Commercial Product
Conduct In-Home Use Test
Market Simulation Test
Test Market and National Distribution
Back to top
© Copyright (2002) Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47907. All Rights Reserved.