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Implementing innovations in traditional foods

By: , Posted on: September 10, 2018

Traditional foods are of high social importance in numerous countries around the world, being a part of their culture, identity, gastronomic heritage and economic growth. Indeed, they contribute to the development, diversification and sustainability of many rural areas, allowing a clear product differentiation for their producers and manufacturers, providing a greater food variety to final consumers, ensuring income for locals, and ultimately protecting them from depopulation.

Traditional food producers are typically small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) that daily face the challenge of improving safety, health and convenience of their products according to the market demands. These companies are increasingly under pressure due to the opening of markets, the rising importance of large retailers, as well as conforming to governmental regulations.

Innovations in Traditional Foods provides a guide for all these companies that need to present something new in their customer’s and food market.

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to traditional foods, e.g. definitions, geographical differences, designation of origin labeling and consumer perceptions. The chapter shows that the interrelation between both food innovation and food tradition is much more complex than often assumed by the public and played out by contemporary food marketing.

To illustrate multidimensionality of traditional foods and intricate dynamics as social and historical constructions (e.g. relying on heritagization moments), Chapter 2 presents three case products (meat, bread, and tea). In that order, they represent foods that cover vastly different time-scales of consumption, with their origins in the Western world historically dating back to the Palaeolithic, the Neolithic, and Early Modernity. As such, they demonstrate that tradition and innovation are mutually constitutive, with tradition feeding into innovation and vice versa.

Chapter 3 covers consumers’ perspectives about innovations in traditional foods, using “Mind Genomics”. The latest has been implemented to identify consumer segments based on their mind-sets, or with other words, the way people see the world. Since modern food industries are increasingly choosing to enhance internal idea development by exploiting external knowledge and paths to market, Chapter 4 provides an overview of “Open Innovation” approach as could be implemented in the case of traditional foods.

The remaining chapters of the book deal with innovations in certain traditional foods. For example, Chapter 5 discusses the case of fruits and vegetables, providing consumer insights, market perspectives and health benefits of increased vegetable consumption, as well as production and business strategies for SMEs and distributors.

Chapter 6 provides a comprehensive overview about the sourdough microbiota, as this has been described so far by both conventional and omics approaches, as well as its functionality with regards to the technological properties (e.g. texture, flavor, shelf-life and nutritional value) of bread.

Chapter 7 denotes innovations and challenges of tropical roots and tuber crops, whereas Chapter 8 deals with the olive oil sector, highlighting the prospects of utilizing bioactive compounds of olive fruit in nutrition, human health and wellness. Recommendations based on the current situation are provided, using sector’s competitive advantages and keeping in mind not to lose its “traditional” nature.

Chapter 9 describes traditional fermented foods and beverages from around the world, including their microbiology, their production technology, properties in nutrition their effects in health and disease and their future perspectives in this context as drivers of healthy diet in view of developing innovative products, too. For instance, it highlights the use of a starter culture without decarboxylase activity for the reduction of biogenic amines formation in fermented products.

Chapter 10 deals particularly with this problem in the wine sector by proposing innovative strategies to diminish amine formation. Finally, Chapter 11 focuses on meat industry by proposing ways to improve quality and stability of traditional meat snacks and to launch novel products with enhanced nutritional value, functional attributes, more convenient packaging and improved sensory properties.

Conclusively, the book fills the gap existing in the current literature by dealing with innovations of traditional foods with an integral point of view (background, consumer preferences and new applications). It addresses food scientists and nutrition researchers working with food applications and food processing as well as those who are interested in the development of innovative products.

It could also be purchased by University libraries and institutes all around the world in order to be used as a textbook and/or ancillary reading in under-graduates and post-graduate level multi-discipline courses dealing with food science, processing and technology.

Visit and use discount code STC317 at checkout to pre-order this book and save up to 30% on your very own copy!

Over the last years, Food Waste Recovery Group has organized a series of activities (webinars, workshops, courses etc) and published books dealing with issues of sustainable food systems, innovations in the food industry, food waste recovery and non-thermal processing, as well as functional food ingredients like polyphenols.

Charis M. Galanakis is an interdisciplinary scientist with a fast-expanding work that balances between food and environment, industry, and academia. He has established the “Food Waste Recovery” term and discipline with an ultimate goal to inspire related professionals to extract high added-value compounds from wasted by-products in all stages of food production (from agriculture to the consumer) and re-utilize them in the food chain. He is the coordinator of Food Waste Recovery Group of ISEKI Food Association (Vienna, Austria) and R&I director of Galanakis Laboratories (Chania, Greece). He serves as an expert evaluator/monitor of international and regional funded programs and proposals (Horizon 2020 etc). He is an editorial board member of Food and Bioproducts Processing and Food Research International, and he has edited 12 books with Elsevier. See his full portfolio of books here.Follow Dr. Galanakis via Twitter – @CharisGalanakisLinkedIn or ResearchGate.
Join the Food Waste Recovery Group on LinkedIn or the Food Waste Recovery Page on Facebook. ORCID: 0000-0001-5194-0818  email:

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Food Science & Nutrition

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