Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Moo-d altering substances

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Mood-altering food, disease diagnosis using pin-pricks, and genetics tailored to individual farms are just some of the technologies coming down the tracks in farming.

A Teagasc technology conference in Dublin last week outlined the breakthrough technologies that will transform the Irish agri-food and bioeconomy sector over the next 20 years.

"In the same way that Henry Ford's assembly line and, more recently, the likes of Uber and AirBnB changed the way that cars were built and taxis and accommodation are accessed, there's going to be revolutionary developments to the way we do things," said Teagasc's director of research, Frank O'Mara.

Mr O'Mara said consumers will have greater control over how their food is produced, while laser knives will replace standard knives in meat plants to reduce cross contamination.

Technologies such as instant BVD, mastitis and liver fluke diagnosis from tiny blood samples will increase the efficacy of disease treatment, and are already being researched to scale up for on-farm use.

New dairy products that increase the presence of mood-boosting bacteria in the gut are also in the pipeline the conference heard.

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