It is expected that the world’s population will increase to 9 billion people in the next 35 years – but usable land area for growing food will remain the same. So other ways must be found to feed us. We have to find other sources of raw materials for vital substances such as proteins, essential fatty acids (among them omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA), amino acids and vitamins so we can maintain a healthy diet. And, above all, we urgently need to create new opportunities to ensure enough healthy food for every part of the world.
Additionally, consumers are becoming more critical of food products, their manufacturing and composition. Many people nowadays are sensitive or even allergic to synthetic food additives. Therefore, the trend in food research, in addition to “organic,” is moving toward “clean label” products, i.e. those without artificial substances (aromas, antioxidants, stabilizers, preservatives, etc.).
The Fraunhofer EMB utilizes marine biotechnology to investigate purposefully the use of biologically active substances of aquatic origin for food technology.
For this purpose, a “Technical Center for Applied Food Research” (abbreviated TFAL) was created. So new ideas can be processed – from the (aquatic) source of raw materials to the final product. Here, EMB scientists and engineers work with their industrial partners to develop food products and their additives along the value chain: From developing new (alternative and sustainable) sources of raw materials and isolating substances all the way to prototype and find product development. The TFAL is equipped with devices and equipment used in food chemistry, technology and industry on a laboratory scale. Thus the TFAL serves as a multifunctional research platform for raw-material manufacturers and users alike in the food industry.
Based on the industry’s problems, the Fraunhofer EMB is using its ideas and expertise to develop the food of the future.