M. Cámara Hurtado
Innovation is going be one of the most important activities in tomato processing in order to be up to date with the technological changes, consumer demands and international competition. In the innovation process various kinds of knowledge should be integrated, there are also important connections between professionals and scientist from different regions and countries in nets and clusters. That means a real cooperation between society-companies-research; this cooperation has to be translated into co-operation, developing common views and finding similar interests. This will allow performing joint actions and projects in spite of the differences in the ultimate goals of the actors involved. In tomato processing, innovation can be referred to the raw materials (selection of better varieties and growing conditions), processing (applying the new technologies), final products (developing new products with special benefits: nutritional, functional, sensory, etc.) and by-products recovery and utilization. The objective is to create value added products with an increased returned of investments, etc. Priority areas for innovation in food processing are focused on marketing and developing functional-healthy foods as advances in Food Science and Technology are centered on developing “Novel Foods and New Food Ingredients” with special reference to healthy foods, and as developed countries face an epidemic of obesity and related chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables in general, and tomatoes in particular, are known to retard cancer and cardiovascular disease. Although as part of a global trade we can not forget the barriers presented by the different food-regulations (USD/UE) related to “Novel foods”, “Functional Foods” or “Nutraceuticals”. Innovation process is an opportunity for enterprises to develop new business models and create a food world with more choices. Considering all of this and to accomplish this goal, more co-operation and research is needed to evaluate food processing technologies and the potential health benefits of foods produced. Also, efforts need to be made on the appropriate labeling of products in order for companies to correctly market their new products; since the innovation concept is not just the new ideas generation, that knowledge has to be integrated, created into a commercial product to be commercialized with success and profits make from it. Improving on tomato processing through innovation and development of new functional tomato products and ingredients from tomato by-products will improve agricultural economics and provide a new source of healthful nutrients in a global market.
Cámara Hurtado, M. (2007). INNOVATION IN PROCESSING TOMATO: THE LAB AND THE FIELD. Acta Hortic. 758, 97-102
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.758.10

Acta Horticulturae