Innovation in the food processing combines technological innovation with social and cultural aspects. It occurs throughout the entire food system, including production, harvesting, primary and secondary processing, manufacturing and distribution. The ultimate innovation is a new or improved consumer product and service. Innovations can be focused in one area of food technology, for example process engineering, product formulation, food qualities or consumer needs; but ripples spread causing changes in other parts of the food system, in consumer eating patterns and in general social and cultural areas. Food industry innovation strategies need to be based on the total technology in the food system and concerned not only with the technological changes but also with the social and environmental changes, so as to produce food that satisfies the nutritional, personal and social needs and wants of all communities.

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