Newsday Tuesday: the future of baking

Posted: 6th Nov 2018

How does a slice of Levitating Cake sound? Or perhaps you'd rather have a Galactic Gateau?

These are just two of the five cake trends that it is anticipated we will get in the coming years - and it will completely change the way in which we bake and consume sweets, a trend report from foresight consultancy The Future Laboratory, commissioned by Tate & Lyle Sugars to celebrate the Thames Refinery's 140th birthday, has explained. 

In fact, the report has predicted that by 2040, everything we consume will be customised to suit our own personal preferences and dietary requirements - even coming down to our DNA. As such, our dining experiences will become more personalised affairs, tailored to suit our individual lifestyles.

So, how will this impact our cake-eating habits? We find out here...

1. Data Dessert

AI-enabled homes are the future - they will be able to tell us not only what we need but also what we crave. Life is getting personalised to suit our needs, and it will be no different with cake.

Enter, the Data Dessert.

It's created to suit our personal data needs, right down to our genetic make-up. This will then get passed on to smart home devices, which will be know everything about is, from our preferred ingredients to any sneaky snacks you indulge in at night - it could even anticipate your mood before you do.

2. Galactic Gateau

Space travel will have an impact on day-to-day life, as it's anticipated humans will start spending their holidays off earth. However, it will do more than that - we'll also be working and living off earth. As our taste buds getaffected by gravity, the flavour of food would dulled down - this is where big flavours, such as fiery chilli and the sweetness of sugar comes in. These will become key ingredients in combatting a lack of flavour from zero gravity.

The Japanese have actually been working on an innovative way to get around this - they have been looking to use robots to create cakes that come in cube form. These cubes will be able to recreate the flavour, texture, colour and nutritional content of a normal cake, but can then adjust for the big flavours that will be needed in space. It could even be possible for family and friends on earth to personalise a cake and transmit the recipe straight to space for instant 3D printing.

3. Virtual Cake

VR is set to have a huge impact on proceedings. People are already attending parties via VR headsets - it seems natural that virtually enjoying food together will follow. This means users will see, taste, smell, touch and hear the food in front of them, as aromatic diffusers, headsets and sensors combine to bring it to life.

4. Petri Pudding

Over the next decade, we can expect to see an increase in protein alternatives that are produced in labs - in short, Petri dish ingredients will usher in a new age of high-tech cake. We can expect to see our future Petri Puddings made from in-vitro eggs, algae baking powder and flavouring from extinct plants.

5. Levitating Cake

Progress in science will mean we get a big of magic coming in the form of the Levitating Cake - in essence, it will be the ultimate multi-sensory wonder. As light as a cloud, it will even be possible to make it levitate like one. Unconventional ingredients will be used to give it a sense of depth and surprise, while savoury, sweet, and sour tastes will all be mixed in.

It may sound like something more suited to Harry Potter, but it's actually already been achieved by Bompas and Parr at London Design Week (2018), where the pair used magnetic levitation to make canapes and cakes fly.

Rebecca Coleman, Strategic Foresight Editor for The Future Laboratory, said: "The future of cake is an exciting one. In tandem with the rise of VR, 3D printing, ingredient bio-hacking, as well as increasing consumer desire for sustainability and experiential dining, the celebratory desserts of tomorrow will be as varied as they are innovative."

Information courtesy of Tate & Lyle