Nutritious dairy snacks, tailored to an individual's dietary needs and tastes, could in future be on offer through vending machines.
Multinational dairy group Fonterra and nutrition ingredients supplier BASF have joined forces on a four-year project with New Zealand's Massey University to develop a vending system called POSIFoods, or 'point-of-sale individualised foods', which would allow consumers to choose freshly made drinks with a range of supplementary nutrients, such as vitamin C, folate, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3.
Fonterra, which markets milk-based nutrition products, hopes to capitalise on the growing demand for 'positive health' foods. Fonterra's director of marketing and innovation Bob Major said: "[It] will enable customers to choose a snack that meets particular health needs, such as low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-calcium, or low-sugar."
He saw potential in schools for pupils to "choose from a range of smoothies with the goodness of dairy food", an idea likely to appeal to health minister Melanie Johnson who urged the British Soft Drinks Association to find "new ways to make healthy soft drinks a viable option" in schools.