Food Engineering Reviews

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Food Industry and Processing Technology: On Time to Harmonize Technology and Social Drivers

  • Vivian Lara Silva
  • Alberto M. Sereno
  • Paulo José do Amaral Sobral
Review Article


Through an extensive literature review, including scientific publications and organizational reports of food processing companies, our main goal in this paper is to identify the trajectory of the food industry and processing technology from its birth in the nineteenth century to the present time. In this paper, the following questions are addressed: How have we got here? And where are we going? In essence, this review perceives three main paradigm shifts in the food industry, supported by four main knowledge development cycles of Food Science and Technology. Furthermore, this paper also surmises that we are now at the most challenging moment considering the two centuries of history of the food industry. Despite an unquestionable technological development, while ensuring the scale production of microbiologically safe, nutritious, and appealing foods, the industry has apparently not effectively engaged its stakeholders. Particularly, the industry needs to improve its approach towards the consumer. The contemporary challenging situation outside the box urges the development of new processes and technologies considering present-day consumption drivers associated with processed food. This is important for the industry to reinvent itself so as to understand that more than creating textures, the opportunity is also to preserve and enhance attributes derived from the raw material and from the relationships established throughout the value chain in which it operates.


Paradigm shifts Value added Relationship Food chain Shared value 



We would like to thank our anonymous Referees for their care regarding our manuscript and for their valuable comments for improving the paper. Special thanks also to Carmen S. F. Trindade (Assoc. Prof., FZEA/USP), Miriam D. Hubinger (Full Prof., UNICAMP), Cynthia Ditchfield (Assist. Prof., FZEA/USP), as weel to Marcia G. Kasemodel (Graduate Student in Food Engineering, FZEA/USP) for their comments, suggestions, and technical assistance. Additionally, we would like to thank the Center for Organization Studies (CORS), as well as the Group of Studies and Research on Strategy and Vertical Coordination (GEPEC), for providing a rich environment for the development of this research. Finally, the authors acknowledge the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) for both their financial support (CEPID FoRC 13/07914-8) and the fellowship of visiting professor A.M. Sereno (13/19359-9), as well as the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for the Research fellowship of Paulo J.A. Sobral.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Engineering DepartmentUniversity of Sao Paulo (FZEA/USP)PirassunungaBrazil
  2. 2.Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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