Technological innovation supporting different food production philosophies in the food service sectors
Rodgers, S. (2008) Technological innovation supporting different food production philosophies in the food service sectors International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 20 (1). pp. 19-34. ISSN 0959-6119
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The purpose of this paper is to identify technological challenges and innovative solutions in each of the food production philosophies in the food service sector, namely: industrial cuisine, fast food and fresh food. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews industry reports on cooking equipment and preparation techniques. Conceptual links are made with possible future developments as well as operational/strategic advantages they represent. Findings – Innovation in food preparation commands multi-disciplinary approaches stemming from engineering and food science. Industrial cuisine would benefit from automation, units with intensive heating, robust food product design and shelf-life extension; fast food from reduced oil absorption by food, better cooking oils, automation and short frying time; and fresh food from rapid cooking, visually appealing serving units and analytical instrumentation for testing raw produce. Future innovations may originate in the field of robotics, food engineering and laboratory equipment design including miniaturisation and portability of units. Sophistication in product development can be achieved through application of the principles of molecular gastronomy in combination with computer modelling. Practical implications – Managers can conceptualise their operations in terms of the philosophies presented in the paper. Technological innovation is critical to sustain competitiveness (cost leadership and differentiation). The list of underpinning disciplines in food production can be used by educators wishing to enhance their programs with fundamentals supporting innovation. Originality/value – Food preparation philosophies are presented in the light of impacts on food sensory and microbiological quality, nutritional value and operational efficiencies. The possibilities for future innovation stemming from developments in other technologically advanced fields are identified.
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