The Granada Press media holding is to open a big information project “South Ural: Modern Age Presentation”, the goal of which is to provide the business community, authorities and general public with the opportunities and perspectives of certain sectors of economy of the Chelyabinsk Region. The first sector, to which journalists and experts drew attention within the framework of the project, was the food industry.
The latest session of the “Expert Club” was related to the development of the food industry in South Ural region. The members of the Club named this industry as one of the most innovative ones. South Ural Panorama spoke on the subject with Professor Irina Potoroko, Head of the Department of Food Technology and Biotechnology of South Ural State University.
— First, I think such an event is quite relevant. Having the representatives of various departments present and expressing their opinions here is a real opportunity to assess the issues of the food and the processing industry of the region, said Irina Potoroko, assessing the Granada Press project. — Second, taking into consideration the importance of food systems as a way for providing the end user with the necessary life-sustaining resources, it is possible to jointly create a system favourable for the living conditions of the population on the territory of the self-supporting Chelyabinsk Region.
— This cannot be denied that South Ural region has its own resource potential.
— Of course, there is a potential, but the effectiveness of the used technological approaches does not allow to make food products, which would give the guaranteed properties to the consumer. And by this I mean the healthy nutrition products segment.
Unfortunately, every manufacturer is still mainly focused on the profit of an enterprise. To include the consumer care into food manufacturer’s interests, relevant financial leverage probably needs to be established. Then the interest in integration of science and production might yield good work results, which are positive for the consumer.
— Please, tell us a little bit about the scientific work you are currently engaged in.
— We partially stopped using different raw material combinations (in particular, non-traditional types of raw material), since the consumer tends to choose habitual flavours. Without proven benefits, presenting a new product on the market is a direct deception, even though it is a marketing ploy.
— What is your forecast for the new decade?
— Considering the cutting-edge global trends of scientific research development in the field of food ingredients synthesis, using state-of-the-art methods of research, one can observe interesting transformations of new components in the food matrix of a product composition.
We hope that in the next ten years, food products will become the alternative to medicine and will effectively perform the targeted functions for the prevention of diseases and prolong the life of the population. In essence, just like a capsule, a product will transport the necessary substances to the target cells in human body.
Today, we are already creating double emulsions, which on the second level of the system are filled with biologically active substances having targeted effect at the cellular level. To solve environmental problems, new types of biodegradable film materials, that can be used to replace plastic, were developed. Given their safety and adjustable decomposition time, their use for the encapsulation of biologically active substances is also possible.