LONDON – Production innovation, productivity, salt reduction and fat reduction all rank as important when considering investment in new technology, according to a recent survey of the food and beverage industry. Leatherhead Food Research, London, conducted the survey and reported the results Sept. 20.

When responding to the comment “Commercialization of emerging technology is the only way of achieving a step change in ...,” a little more than 40 percent said either productivity or efficiency while about 40 percent said either reduction of fat or reduction of salt. Sustainability was over 35 percent. Health and wellness was nearly 25 percent.

“These groupings suggest that it is generally believed that ‘green’ agendas cannot be met by the current manufacturing platforms and that reductions in salt and fat that are possible by existing strategies are at their maximum,” Leatherhead Food Research said.

When asked, “Which of these objectives are currently the most important when considering investment in new technology?”, 35 percent said product innovation and 20 percent said product quality. Energy and resource efficiency was over 15 percent. Health and wellness was under 15 percent, as was sustainability.

“Health and wellness was considered as less of a priority, maybe indicating a tide of change in the focus of development teams for coming years,” Leatherhead Food Research said. “This also suggests that health and wellness is no longer the domain of the innovators but is a mainstream trend that is considered the core of any development activity since it is still a priority agenda item across the industry.”