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Future Food Production

Due to increased human population and middle class improvement there is an urgent need to develop radically new future food production systems independent of climate and animals, where plant based foods (vegetables / fruit /medicinal plants etc) are grown in multilayer systems in closed environments with artificial light, or meat is sustainably produced from muscle stem cell cultures with recirculating water and nutrients, and with zero pesticides/antibiotics,

These systems should deliver 24/7 automated production of safe and uniform food products through closed, intensive and high technological based systems. Uniform food products will enable optimization of harvest, handling and storage thereby radically reducing food waste.

These systems could be fuelled by renewable energy with reduced impact on climate. Research will bring together expertise in phenotyping with 3D imaging, climate control, energy optimization, precision fertilizer and water use, novel growing media, animal cell physiology, tissue engineering, structural and automation to address the growth and harvesting phases.

New knowledge is needed on novel lighting systems, dynamic growth conditions, formations of health-promoting substances in foods, nano-and information technologies, as well as post-harvest and packaging technologies.

To ensure commercial success the product quality, health and nutrition attributes and sensory attributes of food products should be evaluated and aligned to marketing strategies.

Success in highly intensive and sustainable production systems will make a positive impact ensuring the supply of food to meet growing urban based populations, stopping the exploitation and decline of our natural resources, reducing food waste during the production and transport phases, increasing the uniformity of our foods enabling optimization of storage and handling processes, securing a supply of food under conditions of national threat or climate disasters, reducing the use of chemicals during food production, and increasing food security, and trustworthiness in our food.

Research on novel production systems is focused on:


  • Plant responses to monochrome light
  • Carbohydrate metabolism in relation to changes in light
  • Health-promoting substances in plants in relation to monochromatic light
  • In vitro meat: Production of a scaffold by ultra-spinning polymers for three dimensional growth and
  • differentiation of pig muscle cells
  • Investigation of an animal protein hydrolysate as a constituent of the medium for growing muscle cells.

Researchers focused on Future Food Production Systems

Carl-Otto Ottosen

Professor with Special Responsibilities