By: Shivangi Kelkar
Recently, a team from the Royal Society of Fellows, UK ranked food and drink innovations to understand the role of science and innovation in improving our health and life. A steering group of 3 Fellows reduced a list of 100 food-related innovations, including foods such as instant coffee, down to a Top 20 List; innovations were then voted on by 45 Fellows of the Royal Society. The rankings were based on four criteria: accessibility, productivity, aesthetics, and health. Refrigeration topped the list, followed by pasteurization and canning!
Artificial refrigeration was first demonstrated by William Cullen at University of Glasgow in 1748 and then produced commercially in 1805. But fridges were not introduced into homes until the 1920s. The Royal Society said that refrigeration has played the biggest role in improving the diet of millions of people.
These modern innovations, however, beat the ancient inventions like the fishing net, the plough, and the cork… without which our ancestors would not have possibly survived!
The Top 20 Food and Drink Innovations:
2. Pasteurization / sterilization
4. The oven
6. Threshing machine/combine harvester
8. Selective breeding / strains
9. Grinding / milling
10. The plough
12. The fishing net
13. Crop rotation
14. The pot
15. The knife
16. Eating utensils
17. The cork
18. The barrel
19. The microwave oven
Do you agree with this list? What innovation do you think should be number #1?
Photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2011-05-09_14-56-45_407.jpg