Gains and Losses of Agricultural Food Production: Implications for the Twenty-First Century

Slavko Komarnytsky, Sophia Retchin, Chi In Vong, Mary Ann Lila

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The world food supply depends on a diminishing list of plant crops and animal livestock to not only feed the ever-growing human population but also improve its nutritional state and lower the disease burden. Over the past century or so, technological advances in agricultural and food processing have helped reduce hunger and poverty but have not adequately addressed sustainability targets. This has led to an erosion of agricultural biodiversity and balanced diets and contributed to climate change and rising rates of chronic metabolic diseases. Modern food supply chains have progressively lost dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, micronutrients, and several classes of phytochemicals with high bioactivity and nutritional relevance. This review introduces the concept of agricultural food systems losses and focuses on improved sources of agricultural diversity, proteins with enhanced resilience, and novel monitoring, processing, and distribution technologies that are poised to improve food security, reduce food loss and waste, and improve health profiles in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-261
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Food Science and Technology
StatePublished - Mar 25 2022


  • Agricultural food systems
  • alternative proteins
  • biofortification
  • genetic improvement
  • phytochemicals
  • sustainable agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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