Mass customization in food production: a perception about the theme and future directions
Mass Customization (MC) has become a significant market trend, mainly with the dissemination of new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT). This article aims to identify possibilities of MC adoption for produced food and to identify barriers and enablers related to MC success. For to develop the MC theme in food production, as the first step, a systematic literature review was carried out. The systematic search of several databases (Emerald Insight, Science Direct, Web of Science, Proquest and Scopus) was conducted, and 52 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Results show food perishability, difficulty in processing, nutritional values quantification of the customized food products and perceived complexity of the customization benefit by the customers as barriers to MC implementation in the food sector. Each of these barriers is discussed together with the recommended enablers to overcome them. The results presented contribute to the identification of opportunities for new products, processing, and services associated with custom food products and the improvements implementation of foods already customized by companies. This paper gathers considerations to direct the MC success of food engineering and food sector companies. To accompany the industry 4.0 scenario, it becomes essential to develop mass customization strategies. The challenge of Food Engineering is precise to create methods that align with such a situation. In this way, the present article presents itself as an initial step towards a new way of thinking about food engineering processes.
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