“Personalization is at the cutting edge of the food industry and will enable the creation, over the next few years, of functional foods and beverages” that offer specific health-oriented benefits to particular groups of consumers based on genetic, metabolic, lifestyle-related and other factors, according to Francesc Puiggròs, the scientific director of the Biotechnology Department at the Eurecat technology centre.
As Puiggròs explained, “personalized nutrition is defined as the capacity of each individual to achieve dietary behaviour that is sustainable, beneficial to their health and compatible with their lifestyle and daily activities”. Ideally, we would be able to “design functional foods and beverages in accordance with the precise needs of each individual, on the basis of their genetic code, microbiota and personal preferences and tastes”, he continued.
However, taking into account the parameters of scalability and industrial profitability, Puiggròs believes there will be an opportunity to enable consumers to personalize their nutrition by creating functional foods and beverages for different groups of people based on biological, genetic and metabolic similarities, comparable microbiota, and similarities in their behaviour, preferences and lifestyles.
Consumers will also become more independent and enjoy progressively greater access to more (and more accurate) data related to their own health, through the use of special devices, sensors and other portable and digital technologies that are already becoming increasingly more popular in the health and wellness industry.