Fundamental science and food technologies of the future

The food industry is unthinkable without fundamental science that is without scientific researches, highly technological production systems. The updating of technologies, the creating of new for future food technologies on fundamental science discoveries.

Рубрика Производство и технологии
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Moscow state university of food production

Academician of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Science

Fundamental science and food technologies of the future

V.A. Panfilov


Today the food industry development is unthinkable without fundamental science that is without fundamental scientific researches and highly technological production systems. Engineering of Russian food and processing industry require immediate resuscitation, or we shall fall behind hopelessly. But now it is important not only to update old technologies, but how to create completely new ones with room for future food technologies on the basis of fundamental science discoveries

fundamental science, food technologies

Сегодня развитие пищевой промышленности немыслимо без фундаментальной науки, т.е. без фундаментальных научных изысканий и высокотехнологичных производственных систем. Инженерия пищевой и перерабатывающей промышленности России требует безотлагательной реанимации, иначе мы безнадежно отстанем. Но сейчас важно не столько обновлять старые технологии, сколько создавать принципиально новые, с заделом для пищевых технологий будущего на основе открытий фундаментальной науки.

фундаментальная наука, пищевые технологии

Basic maintenance of research

Before peeking into the future, let's consider the concept “future”. It's appropriate to differ physical (astronomical) and sociological (economical) aspect of this concept. In the physical sense “future" means time, which follows the current time that is considered the present one. In the sociological sense “future" means that condition of the society, which must change its present condition. With this consideration of the future the question appears: is it possible to assume the next day the future? In the physical sense the answer is - yes! And in the sociological one?

The fact is that the answer to this question is far from unequivocal. While the standardizing, stagnation in the society development (culture, science, technique) the answer is rather “no”, and in the development period, intensive changes in the society life it is rather “yes”. Therefore the further the society peeks into its physical future the more and more it orients to alleged changes in the sociological future (conditions of culture, science, technique). The society which aims to look into its “tomorrow" sort of rushes in the future and for it the development historical process course accelerates.

Today Russia lives precisely in this period of its history. That is why we, food industry workers, can not help but look (predict, anticipate, plan, design) into the future of our food technologies. If we refuse form such activities, then we'll live and work in the physical future but in the sociological past. Here we should remember the words of the great Russian citizen Vissarion Grigorievich Belinskiy (1811-1848), Russian revolutionary democrat, literary critic, publicist, philosopher-materialist: “ The one who doesn't go forward, goes backward: there is no stationary p position”. Somewhere in the Amazonian jungles primitive tribes always have sociological present - whether yesterday or today or tomorrow. In civilized countries “yesterday” is the sociological past, “today” is the sociological present and “tomorrow" is the sociological future. And the more dynamic the society develops the more significantly it perceives sociological intervals of time trying to peek into its tomorrow in all directions. Today the most dynamically developing society is Chinese People's Republic that is quickly overtaking the leading world countries. For this country each following day and each following year are really sociological future.

The rates of creation in the industry, construction, agriculture impress specialists. In the basis of these achievements there is knowledge that is mostly borrowed but also independently obtained.

For effective vital functions and rapid development of modern advanced civilized societies there should be not only knowledge but fundamental knowledge because these are the knowledge, significantly outrunning engineering, allow to bring closer the future not indulging fantasies. We live in the very technological world that is rapidly developed. The time between the fundamental developments and their practical application is highly shortened. Now in most cases this period is only from 1 to 10 years while previously it has taken tens and even hundreds years. The main feature of modern food technologies (and the more food technologies of the future) is that in contrast with the early and middle XX century technologies they are based on fundamental science achievements in the overwhelming majority.

Now let's consider the concept “fundamental science”. Fundamental science is an absolutely special sphere of human activities the result of which is new knowledge working for the “future”: opened phenomena mechanisms, first stated processes patterns, new properties of known and newly achieved environments, systematization of abstract and real objects giving the possibility to predict and anticipate. Fundamental science doesn't produce anything material; its results are not patented. But innovative technologies, in particular, food ones, may be build only on the basis of established scientific novelty within the limits of one or another fundamental investigation. Thus, fundamental science can't be profitable by its definition - otherwise it is not science but invention. Inventor's creative process doesn't demand deep knowledge; there must be insight, hunch, and intuition. However, inventor's activity becomes purposeful, more predictable and more effective if he has a good scientific fundament. Fundamental science has many positive aspects: the width of national economic problems, the possibility of concentrating big efforts on narrow directions, independence from customers' momentary interests, the information exchange with colleagues while organizing conferences, colloquiums and seminars, establishing scientific School.

Today the food industry development is unthinkable without fundamental science that is without fundamental scientific researches and highly technological production systems. Indeed, food technologies of the future are new raw materials and new properties of traditional raw materials, new ways of transforming initial agricultural raw materials of vegetable and animal origin into food products, new methods of energy release in technological processes (first of all, via electromagnetic, sound and mechanical vibrations), new compositions of human food products, new packaging materials, not polluting environment, flexible technologies ensuring the widest range of food products and their high quality. Of course, new technologies can't be predicted and designed up to the tiniest details, but it's absolutely real to make it in common features. In sources [1; 2; 3] the theoretical basics of organization of new processes and their complexes that is progressive technological flows, that really gives the possibility to look into “the future” of food technologies. And the book [4], “The systematic development of technique of Food Technology”, besides that contains also “thorough instructions” in the form of philosophical, scientific and engineering maintenance of making such technologies in the wide sense that is with correspondent computer-hardware.

All these innovations can't be reached if to modernize only the existing items. This is a road to nowhere. There should be absolutely new ideology, new paradigm of scientific activities, new approaches to the organization of scientific researches based on clear vision of goals. These goals can be the following images (projects) with intervals of 20, 30, 50 and more years:

- separate processes of food technologies of the future;

- food technologies of the future as a whole;

- food enterprises of the future with their infrastructures.

These images demand constant corrections which mean that they must be permanently on the run. Just from there, “from afar”, having enough clear goal image, obtained on the basis of scientific-technical forecasts, developed with high relativity, it's appropriate to form the subjects of fundamental investigations. In the other words, today it's vitally necessary to develop a conceptual framework of future food technologies making scientific foundation for future inventions and ways of their engineering implementation.

Mentioned above methods (projects) must be considered as a result of the most important fundamental work and must become the main section of the annual report of a Scientific Research Institute about its activities, as the other subjects are closed on it in one way or another.

For this work which results in the methodological developments, theoretical survey investigation, nontrivial experimental investigations, in each Scientific Research Institute an elite (in all meanings) group of scientists (2-3 people) must be created and activated with the involvement of university scientists that is forward-looking. The work of such a group must be connected with the search and processing the information by all possible and impossible ways and methods. And while this work analogical solved problems and tasks in all industrial fields of Russian and leading abroad countries national Economies should be considered and analyzed. One can not be confined to only essentially similar processes of various food fields technologies.

There must be also mentioned about absolute necessity of the very close connection of scientists of food and agricultural processing sectors of AIC with the ones of the country's agricultural industry, specialists in the field of crops and livestock. We are talking about creating plants for future food technologies and about creating animals, birds and fish for future food technologies. And again the collaboration of specialists in the development of cross-agro-food technologies rests on the advanced problem solution, which can be and which must be these technologies? Here we need enough clear images of future technologies.

food industry technological production

Specialists of agricultural industry and food industry workers began speaking of a single technological cycle of food production in the early 80s of the XX century while establishing a system of USSR Agricultural industry. Today in the developed countries more and more agricultural productions of industrial-type are made while agricultural work acquires the features of factory work, for the results of which the measures of accuracy, stability, reliability and manageability are characterized. While this production and initial processing of agricultural products are kept in one production process cycle. Perhaps, in the future “primary” technologies of a number of processing fields will become the final subsystem of agricultural production technological system, ensuring so necessary feedback inside this system. The fact is that in agriculture technological processes patterns are much harder and not always can be defined. They are due to a number of features and, primarily, by a highly variable impact of land depending on weather and climate conditions, and also biological peculiar properties of plants growth and animals development. Therefore rather stable functioning of this system is hard to provide without effective management.

However, today industrial dairy, meat and poultry farms and farms with patches of primary processing are already being established as components of the future system. While that the concept of organising such enterprises is the following: a person invests less in the labour service of animals and birds and more into the development of automation means. In field industrialization technology of growing plants is possible if to go away from the traditional concept of a tractor towing and to go to power machines, moving on a special track or artificial tracks.

Thus, industrialization of fields and farms will bring qualitative changes in the agro-food production technology and processing of agricultural products.

In conclusion we should stress: engineering of Russian food and processing industry require immediate resuscitation, or we shall fall behind hopelessly. But now it is important not only to update old technologies, but how to create completely new ones with room for future food technologies on the basis of fundamental science discoveries. Moreover, that the Russian food machinery certainly will be revived [5].


1. Панфилов, В.А. Теория технологического потока. - 2-е изд., исправл. и доп. /В.А. Панфилов. - М.: КолосС, 2007. - 319 с.

2. Теоретические основы пищевых технологий: в 2-х кн. /отв. ред. В.А. Панфилов. - М.: КолосС, 2009. - Кн.1. - 608 с.

3. Теоретические основы пищевых технологий: в 2-х кн. /отв. ред. В.А. Панфилов. - М.: КолосС, 2009. - Кн.2. - 800 с.

4. Системное развитие техники пищевых технологий / С.Т. Антипов [и др.]; под ред. акад. РАСХН В.А. Панфилова. - М.: КолосС, 2010. - 760 с.

5. Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 30 января 2010 г. № 120 "Об утверждении Доктрины продовольственной безопасности Российской Федерации" // Российская газета. Федеральный выпуск № 5100 от 3 февраля 2010 г.

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