Nowadays, the sustainability of a product, a process or a system is assessed according to three dimensions: environmental, social and economic. Sustainability challenges occur at all stages in the food system from production through processing, distribution and retailing to consumption and waste disposal. The promotion of organic and local food is not the only way to reach the sustainability. There is other possibility that implies to continue the production hegemony. Increasing research is being focused on the development of healthy, quality and safety food products adapted to consumer’s needs and more environment-friendly processes, that is, processes consuming energy more efficiently, generating less waste and emitting less greenhouse effect gases. Drying technology is applied in the food industry not only for preservation but also to manufacture foods with certain characteristics. Drying technology operations need to be precisely controlled and optimized in order to produce a good-quality product with the highest level of nutrient retention and flavor together with microbial safety. This chapter contains detailed information about some measurements taken by the food industry to ensure the supply of bioactive nutrients to as many individuals as possible, assuring the global sustainability. More specifically, the contribution of some drying techniques employed in the development of functional foods to increase the sustainability of the feeding process is discussed.
Part of the book: Sustainable Drying Technologies