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"We are now in the aftermath phase of the listeria outbreak and I think it is high time for an objective assessment of the bigger picture after the horrors of 2018," asserts well-known SA food scientist, Nigel Sunley. The ‘Big 3’ challenges of food these days are safety, nutrition and sustainability and we need to look at how the events of 2018 have influenced their prioritisation in South Africa in particular, he writes.

Walk into any grocery store, grab a few packaged products, and flip to the ingredients. You’ll likely spot added sugars  —  lots of them  —  provided you can discern their dizzying array of names: sucrose, dextrose, barley malt, agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup, treacle, to list just a few. Why is our food saturated with all these sweeteners?

Globally, chocolate and its source, cocoa, are in a moment of dynamism and change. In some cases it’s for the worse, as the industry faces the realities of climate change. Other changes, however, are for the better, as cocoa producers, chocolate makers, researchers and even retailers offer creative new ways to interact with this beloved food and the people who bring it to us.

Food developers love thinking about which "it" flavour is going to pop this year, or which vegetable will replace kale and cauliflower. But there are generally bigger, longer-term societal changes that drive these things. These are Macro Trends, as outlined by Mattson, a Silicon Valley food innovation and development firm, and which it believes will impact things in the long term. Here are its picks for 2019.