Journal of Food Bioactives, ISSN 2637-8752 print, 2637-8779 online
Journal website


Volume 23, September 2023, pages 1-18

Building self-sustainable basic food systems: role of bioactive components and beyond in science and innovation


Figure 1.
Figure 1. Fundamental distinctions among food security, food safety, and nutrition security.
Figure 2.
Figure 2. Major supporting factors for sustaining food security, food safety, and nutrition security of food systems.
Figure 3.
Figure 3. The proposed sustainable food system framework.
Figure 4.
Figure 4. The risk of armed conflict, 2012–2022.
Figure 5.
Figure 5. Global food system expansion conundrum.
Figure 6.
Figure 6. Renewable energy generation per major region (2010–2022).
Figure 7.
Figure 7. Number of people employed in agriculture from 2010 to 2019.
Figure 8.
Figure 8. Share of labor force employed in agriculture from 2010 to 2019.
Figure 9.
Figure 9. Map of the most prominent regional economic cooperation.


Table 1. Estimated Fatalities of Notable Pandemics since 1968
YearsPandemicPathogensEstimated Fatalities
Data for estimated fatalities in 1968–1970 is from Pandemics throughout History, by Piret J and Boivin G, 2021 (doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.631736). Data for estimated fatalities in 2002–2003 is from Summary of Probable SARS Cases with Onset of Illness from 1 November 2002 to 31 July 2003, by World Health Organization, 2015 ( Data for estimated fatalities in 2009–2010 are from Global Mortality Estimates for the 2009 Influenza Pandemic from the GLaMOR Project: A Modeling Study, by Imonsen, L., Spreeuwenberg, P., Lustig, R., Taylor, R. J., Fleming, D. M., Kroneman, M., et al., 2013 (doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001558). Data for estimated fatalities in 2012–ongoing is from MERS Situation Update, May 2023, by World Health Organization, 2020 ( health-topics/mers-cov/mers-outbreaks.html). Data for estimated fatalities in 2019-ongoing is from WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard, by World Health Organization, 2023 (
1968–1970Hong Kong fluInfluenza A/H3N20.5 to 2 million
2009–2010Swine fluInfluenza A/H1N1148,000 to 249,000
2012–ongoing(MERS)MERS-CoV936 (2012–2020)


Table 2. Number of People Experiencing Food Insecurity in Armed Conflict and/or Economically Sanctioned Areas
Country/AreaFood Insecurity FactorsPeople Experiencing Food Insecurity
Data for Yemen, Congo, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Syria, Central Africa, Somalia, and Lake Chad Basin are from Monitoring Food Security in Countries with Conflict Situations: A Joint FAO/WFP Update for the United Nations Security Council, by FAO, 2019a ( Data for Venezuela is from The Economic Determinants of Venezuela’s Hunger Crisis, by Rodriguez, F., 2022 ( Economic%20determinants%20of%20Venezuela%27s%20hunger%20crisis.pdf). Data for Zimbabwe is from Zimbabwe: Food Insecurity Information Bulletin, by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2019 ( Data for Palestine is from Socio-economic and Food Security Survey 2020: State of Palestine, by Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, 2020 ( Data for Libya is from Libya Annual Country Report 2022: Country Strategic Plan 2019–2023, by World Food Program, 2022 (
Yemenarmed conflict, economic sanctions15.9 million (53%) from December 2018 to January 2019
Congoarmed conflict, economic sanctions, natural disaster, disease13 million in the second half of 2018
Afghanistanarmed conflict, economic sanctions, natural disaster10.6 million (47%) from November 2018 to February 2019
Venezuelaeconomic sanctions9.3 million (32.3%) in 2019
South Sudanarmed conflict, economic sanctions6 million at the peak of the 2018 lean season and 5 million between January and March 2019
Syriaarmed conflict, economic sanctions5.5 million in August 2018
Zimbabweeconomic sanctions, natural disaster3.58 million from October-December 2019
Central Africaarmed conflict, economic sanctions1.9 million in August 2018
Somaliaarmed conflict, economic sanctions, natural disaster1.8 million in July 2018
Palestinearmed conflict, disease1.78 million in 2020
Lake Chad Basinarmed conflict1.7 million in October–December 2018
Libyaarmed conflict222,620 in 2022


Table 3. Strength and Issues of Production-push Dominance and Consumption-pull Dominance
Dominant FactorStrengthsIssues
Production-pushGlobal coverage; Introducing new diversified ingredients; More attractive; More convenient; More accessible; More affordable; Ready to combat hunger, under-nutrition, fortification.Healthy diets offered could possibly change the local diets; Over reliant on imports, hence more susceptible to shocks and disruptions; Prone to impulse purchasing, potentially leading to over-nutrition or food waste.
Consumption-pullLocal culinary and practices provide healthy diets and richness of available menu; New potential like halal food markets may have potential consumption-pull driven activities.Lack of awareness on consumers understanding about healthy diets and balanced nutrition, proper use of food ingredients, and safety; Lack of information on consumer behaviors, local and indigenous culture, food habits, and traditional knowledge; Limited scientific development at consumers perspective end, including innovation for social and institutional building; Lack of innovation and weak driving direction compared with production-push.


Table 4. Major Regional Economic Cooperation Potential Economic Strength by Manufacturing Output
CooperationCountry MembersArea (km2)PopulationGDP (PPP) (USD trillion)Manufacturing Output (USD billion)
Data for SCO country members is from General Information, by SCO Secretariat, n.d. ( Data for USMCA country members is from United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, by International Trade Agreement, n.d. ( Data for EU country members is from Country profiles, by Directorate General for Communication, n.d. ( Data for ASEAN country members is from ASEAN Member States, by ASEAN Secretariat, n.d. ( Data for UNASUR country members is from Brazil to rejoin Union of South American Nations – UNASUR, by Verdello, A., April 10, 2023 ( Data for GCC country members is from Member States, by Secretariat General, n.d. ( Data for African Union country members is from Member States, by African Union Commission, n.d. ( Data for area are calculated based on data 2020 from Surface area (sq. km), by World Bank, n.d. (; data for Sahrawi Republic (Africa Union) is unavailable. Data for population are calculated based on data 2022 from Population, total, by World Bank, n.d. (; data for Sahrawi Republic (Africa Union) is unavailable. Data for GDP (PPP) are calculated based on latest available data (2020–2022) from GDP, PPP (current international $), by World Bank, n.d. (; data for Sahrawi Republic (Africa Union) is unavailable; data for Eritrea (Africa Union) and South Sudan (Africa Union) are prior to 2020. Data for manufacturing output are calculated based on latest available data (2018–2021) from Manufacturing, value added (current UD$), by World Bank, n.d. (; data for Bulgaria (EU), Comoros (Africa Union), Malawi (Africa Union), and Sahrawi Republic (Africa Union) are unavailable; data for Burundi (Africa Union), Eritrea (Africa Union), Liberia (Africa Union), Somalia (Africa Union), South Sudan (Africa Union), Sudan (Africa Union) are prior to 2018.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)936,041.933,369,305,50051.685,887.37
USA–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA)321,675.64499,721,58430.482,924.97
European Union (EU)274,574.03447,956,05024.302,320.66
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)105,219.81679,445,10210.32765.12
Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)816,659.93387,900,5807.18311.03
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)63,372.1558,862,4703.82256.31
African Union5530,562.971,424,583,3808.2872.66


Table 5. Map of Science and Innovation Focus Areas in a Self-sustainable Basic Foods System.
Self-sustainable Basic Food System SubsystemsScience and Innovation Focus Areas
Food SecurityFood SafetyNutrition Security
Raw food and feed productionenhanced local basic land and aqua raw production capacity (vertical gardening, weather manipulation, aqua culture, agricultural machineries, regenerative farming, etc.); advancements of local indigenous resources; safeguarding freshwater resources; improve biodiversity; sustainable land management (reforestation and restoring degraded lands acceleration); expanding hygiene and cleaning; food handling; food packaging and storage; improve agricultural management (use of natural pesticides, antibiotics, etc.).advancement of animal and plant breeding programs to face severe weather and climate change; improve biodiversity; reduce food waste on farms; increase the content of bioactive compounds in food and feed.
Food and feed processingenhanced local food manufacturing capacity; advanced marketing of local foods: form handling; food packaging and storage; anti-allergens; organic food coloring and other natural ingredients; culture of hygiene practices in food processing.advancement in food processing technology; fortification; product formulation; maintain the stability and functionality of bioactive compounds in food and feed.
Food and feed marketrecognition of alternative local foods; waste reducing stock patterns; advanced marketing of local foods: branding, packaging; shelf life extension through bioactive handling; food packaging and storage; culture of hygiene practices in food preparation and handling.healthy diets, including local based; local consumer behavior and perception; advanced marketing of foods rich in bioactive compounds: branding, packaging.
Food consumptionlocal culture resilience; waste reducing consumption patterns.culture of hygiene practices in food preparation and consumption.healthy consumption patterns: quantity and quality (reduced sugar, salt, fat intake); nutrition balance; improve the intake of food rich in bioactive compounds.
Supply chainsenhanced security and shorter supply traceability.reducing food waste within supply chains; improve food storage.
Food and feed loss and waste managementfood loss and waste repurposing for feed, fertilizer, and energy waste disposals.recovery of bioactive compounds in the waste stream.
All subsystemsreforestation; food resilience to face climate change; mitigate water pollution; environment rehabilitation programs; advancements of reliability and capacity of renewable energies; workforce education and training on advanced machineries; social structure construction: long-term financial security (e.g. personal savings, pensions); access to basic expected life amenities (e.g. internet); education system (output geared toward meeting the realistic needs of the country); reshaping career expectancy trends that better serve the nation’s need for raw food production and manufacturing (shifting from social media content providers, online trading, etc.); social transition from traditional farming to advanced farming (utilizing machineries); mass development of advanced fishermen; immigration policies that protect local lower end occupations; food import policies that synergizes with local production, including transparent and accountable financial flow from food imports; stronger local food culture: tax exemptions.