The journey towards viewing omic technologies as a priority for the functional food industry began in 2004 when the complete human DNA sequence was published using genomics as the core technology. Since then, scientific and technological progress in these techniques has paved the way for new frontiers of knowledge in many scientific fields and for new applications, products and services in their industrial dimension.
As a scientific discipline, omic sciences include existing technologies and some more recent ones such as epigenetics and metagenomics for studying microbiota, together with breakthroughs in computational tools applied to bioinformatics to provide us with an overview to grasp the biological processes underlying the whole of an organism.
Health is one of the main drivers of consumer decisions and an unarguable attribute for adding value to a food and making it attractive to the customer.
In turn, omic technologies further increase our knowledge of how food influences the prevention or evolution of diseases, thus allowing us to improve human nutrition and its impact on health. Yet despite their enormous potential, omic technologies are still barely used in business R&D in the healthy food industry.
The Red TecnomiFood was set up to drive the development of functional ingredients and foods and nutraceuticals using omic technologies. It is made up of five leading Spanish and European technology centres in generating scientific knowledge to advance the state of the art in using omics in the food industry and their transfer to businesses.