Move to the Future Unveiling the World of Future Foods

The realm of Future Foods[1], often hailed as “the food of the future,” beckons with promises of innovation and sustainability. Beyond the familiar horizons of traditional cuisines lie uncharted territories brimming with culinary possibilities. While staples like plant protein have garnered attention, the landscape of future foods is a rich tapestry woven with diverse ingredients and revolutionary concepts.

Yet, amidst this cornucopia of culinary potential, lies a challenge and an opportunity for food entrepreneurs to carve a niche and cater to the evolving tastes and preferences of consumers. Future foods, in their myriad forms, encompass Functional foods, Medical foods, Novel foods, and Organic foods, each offering a glimpse into the boundless potential of gastronomic innovation.

Functional Foods
Functional foods extend beyond mere sustenance and flavor; they serve additional roles within the body, offering essential nutritional value that supports various bodily functions. These foods contribute to immune system reinforcement, organ health preservation, and disease symptom alleviation. Functional foods fall into two categories:

  • Nutrient-Enhanced Foods: These foods incorporate added beneficial nutrients or reduced less beneficial components to promote physical health. Examples include vitamin-fortified beverages, omega-3-enriched eggs, and nutrient-enhanced milk formulations for infants.
  • Naturally Processed Foods: Processed from natural raw materials to possess specific beneficial properties, these foods undergo minimal alteration. Examples include nutrient-rich soybeans, yogurt modified to increase beneficial microorganisms without altering other nutritional components, nutrient-enhanced garlic (such as black garlic), and lycopene-enriched tomatoes.

Medical foods are dietary products used as alternatives to medicine or nutritional supplements under the supervision of healthcare professionals. These foods provide patients with the necessary nutrients tailored to their specific conditions, replacing or supplementing their main meals. Examples include liquid diets administered via tubes and nutrient-rich soups or jellies designed for patients with abnormal digestion or metabolism.

Novel foods[2], also known as Innovative foods, encompass products resulting from unconventional production processes that significantly alter their composition, structure, or nutritional value. These foods utilize materials or techniques not commonly used in traditional food production, such as nanotechnology or animal cell culture. Examples include lab-grown meat, plant-based proteins, and dairy alternatives derived from plants.

Organic foods[3] refer to agricultural products cultivated without the use of harmful substances like chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms. Organic livestock are fed organic feed and are not treated with antibiotics. Although organic foods may come at a higher price, they offer consumers confidence in their safety from chemical hazards. Adherence to strict regulations ensures that organic farming practices follow the principles of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) to avoid contamination. Certification by agencies like the Organic Agriculture Standards Office guarantees compliance with international standards, promoting the production and consumption of organic products.

Navigating the Landscape of Future Food Opportunities in Thailand[4]

In the fertile soil of Thailand’s culinary landscape, a burgeoning revolution is taking root—one that promises to redefine not only what we eat but how we nourish ourselves. As the world gravitates towards sustainable, nutritious, and innovative food solutions, Thailand stands poised at the forefront of this gastronomic evolution. Several key factors converge to cultivate an environment ripe with opportunities for the Future food industry to flourish within the Kingdom.

  • Government’s Food Processing Industry Development Action Plan: The government’s strategic initiative, outlined in the Food Processing Industry Development Action Plan Phase 1 (2019-2027), aims to position Thailand as a hub for future food production within the ASEAN region and on a global scale.
  • Committee on Processed Food and Future Food: Within the Thai Chamber of Commerce, a dedicated committee focuses on reshaping the landscape of processed food production. By transitioning traditional Thai cuisine into the food of the future, this committee addresses key areas such as promoting trade, setting standards and regulations, and fostering innovation in food processing.
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunity in Product Development: Entrepreneurs are encouraged to seize opportunities in product development by leveraging insights into market trends and consumer preferences. This includes enhancing protein content, extending shelf life, and creating foods that support immune system function to meet evolving consumer demands.
  • Global Consumer Trends: A shift towards plant-based foods is evident in consumer preferences worldwide. With over 62% of Chinese consumers and 63% of Indian consumers opting for plant-based meat (PbM), Thai entrepreneurs have a prime opportunity to cater to this growing market segment.
  • Promotion and Marketing Strategies: Promoting the image of future food products is paramount to their success. Utilizing both online and offline channels, collaborations with supermarkets, modern trade outlets, and B2C platforms can amplify visibility. Additionally, creating special menus featuring plant-based meat (PbM) in restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, and sports centers can enhance export value and increase recognition in target markets.
  • Impact of Population Growth and Environmental Concerns: As the global population expands, there is a pressing need to address environmental concerns associated with traditional animal husbandry practices. This has led to a rise in the popularity of plant-based food products, driven by consumer awareness and demand for sustainable alternatives.

Showcasing Thai Future Foods: Examples of Innovative Thai Future Foods

  • Black Garlic: Black garlic is made by fermenting regular garlic bulbs at high temperatures and humidity over several weeks. This process caramelizes the sugars in the garlic, resulting in a sweet and tangy flavor with a soft, chewy texture. Black garlic is prized for its unique taste and potential health benefits, including antioxidant properties and potential cholesterol-lowering effects.
  • Egg White Noodle: Egg white noodles are a type of noodle made primarily from egg whites, without the addition of egg yolks. They are often marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional egg noodles due to their lower cholesterol and fat content. Egg white noodles are gluten-free and have a light, delicate texture.
  • Freeze-Dried Fruits and Vegetables: Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are produced by freezing fresh produce and then removing the water content through a process called sublimation. This preserves the color, flavor, and nutritional content of the fruits and vegetables, making them lightweight and convenient for storage and transportation. Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are often used in snacks, breakfast cereals, and trail mixes.
  • Insect Protein Powder: Insect protein powder is made from dried and ground insects, such as crickets, mealworms, or grasshoppers. It is a sustainable source of protein with a low environmental footprint, requiring less water, land, and feed compared to traditional livestock farming. Insect protein powder is rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, making it an ideal ingredient for protein bars, shakes, and baked goods.
  • Kombucha: Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage made by fermenting sweetened tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). The fermentation process produces a tangy, slightly effervescent drink with a distinctively tart flavor. Kombucha is believed to have various health benefits, including improved digestion, detoxification, and immune support.
  • Konjac Rice: Konjac rice, also known as shirataki rice, is made from the konjac plant’s corm, which is high in glucomannan fiber and low in calories and carbohydrates. It has a gelatinous texture and is often used as a low-carb, gluten-free substitute for traditional rice or noodles in Asian cuisine. Konjac rice is popular among individuals following low-carb or ketogenic diets.
  • Plant-Based Meat: Plant-based meat, also known as meat alternatives or meat analogs, are products made from plant proteins, such as soy, peas, or mushrooms, that mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of conventional meat. They are a sustainable and cruelty-free alternative to animal-derived meat, with lower environmental impacts and health benefits. Plant-based meat is used in a variety of dishes, including burgers, sausages, and meatballs.
  • Vitamin (and Mineral) Water: Vitamin and mineral water is bottled water infused with added vitamins and minerals to enhance its nutritional value. These beverages often contain vitamins such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. Vitamin water is marketed as a convenient way to stay hydrated while replenishing essential nutrients, particularly for individuals with active lifestyles or specific dietary needs.

Exploring Future Food Opportunities

THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2024 trade fair, scheduled from May 28th to June 1st, 2024, at Impact Muang Thong Thani. As Thailand’s largest food trade event, it hosts the THAIFEX – Anuga Future Food Market, showcasing an array of intriguing Future foods from across the nation. This special exhibit gathers innovative products all under one roof, offering visitors the chance to experience the latest trends and culinary advancements firsthand. For further information, visit the official website:

Shops Offering Varied and Intriguing Healthy Foods & Products from Thailand

  • Golden Place: Golden Place is a health food store that offers a diverse selection of organic and natural products from Thailand. They specialize in herbal supplements, superfoods, gluten-free products, and specialty items for individuals with dietary restrictions or preferences. Golden Place is committed to providing customers with high-quality, wholesome foods that promote health and vitality. Their products are sourced from trusted local suppliers and producers, ensuring freshness and authenticity.
  • Lemon Farm: Lemon Farm is a farm-to-table concept store that showcases a variety of fresh and healthy foods sourced directly from local farms in Thailand. They offer a wide range of organic fruits and vegetables, free-range eggs, dairy products, and artisanal foods. Lemon Farm focuses on promoting sustainable agriculture practices and supporting local farmers by providing a platform for them to sell their produce directly to consumers. Customers can enjoy farm-fresh foods while supporting the local community and the environment.
  • Rimping: Rimping is a premium grocery store chain in Thailand that specializes in high-quality, gourmet foods and products. They offer a wide range of organic, natural, and specialty items, including fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, and international imports. Rimping is known for its upscale shopping experience, with spacious and well-designed stores that cater to discerning customers looking for the finest ingredients and culinary delights. Their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction sets them apart as a destination for food enthusiasts and health-conscious consumers.
  • Royal Project Shop: The Royal Project Shop is a social enterprise that promotes sustainable agriculture and rural development in Thailand. They offer a diverse range of products sourced from the Royal Project Foundation’s agricultural initiatives, including organic fruits and vegetables, coffee, tea, herbs, and handicrafts. The shop supports local farmers and communities by providing fair wages and market access for their products. Customers can purchase high-quality, ethically sourced goods while contributing to the preservation of Thailand’s natural resources and cultural heritage.

[1] Information from the Office of the National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO), retrieved from the website:, and Factsheet on Future Food Products, collected by the Bureau of Agricultural and Industrial Trade Promotion, DITP, retrieved from the website:

[2] Summary of the definition of Novel Food according to the Ministry of Public Health Announcement No. 376 B.E. 2016 regarding Novel Food, retrieved from the website:

[3] Summary of information from the Food Network Solution Center website, compiled by Assistant Professor Dr. Pimpen Pornchaloempong and Emeritus Prof. Dr. Nithiya Rattanapanone. Retrieved from the website:

[4] Summary of information from the Factsheet on Future Food Products, compiled by the Office of Agricultural and Industrial Trade Promotion, DITP, retrieved from the website: