KTN has developed an interactive agri-food timeline tool with the aim of highlighting innovation in the UK agri-food industry

KTN has developed an interactive agri-food timeline tool with the aim of highlighting innovation in the UK agri-food industry

There have been many exciting advances in food production in recent years, with biofortified foods set to benefit millions, free-from foods allowing people to manage their food intolerances, and great leaps in food safety.

For example, Goldenlay eggs, launched by Nobel Foods in 2008, are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and can provide 33% of the recommended daily intake of these essential fatty acids in just one egg.

The Golden Rice Project has made great advances in increasing the nutritional quality of staple crops, with a particular focus on developing rice as an effective source of vitamin A for use in developing countries.

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“Free from” foods, such as lacto-free and gluten-free products, are now a common sight on our supermarket shelves, moving from being niche products when first launched to having sales of £184 million in the UK by 2014.

You might be surprised to learn that some advances that many of us regard as modern actually took place early in the last century – Yakult probiotic drinks were created in 1935, and microwaves can be traced back to World War II.

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The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has developed an interactive agri-food timeline tool with the aim of highlighting this type of innovation in the UK agri-food industry.

The timeline focuses on the events and interventions (from the domestic microwave to the space race) that have stimulated change and growth over the last hundred years. The tool also features predictions for the types of innovations the agri-food industry is likely to see in the future.

The portal is easy to navigate and allows you to scroll through the years. You can use the time-travel button to select a specific year, and filters allow the user to see the impact of global events (like war) and advances in technology (such as the microwave) on different areas (like functional foods).

You can access the timeline at foodtimeline.ktn-uk.org