Britain's leading scientists have named fridges, pasteurised milk and tin cans as the 20 most important innovations in the history of food and drink.
The modern innovations beat ancient inventions like the fishing net, the plough, and the cork, without which our ancestors would have struggled to survive.
AdvertisementWhile refrigeration was named as the most important breakthrough in food and drink, vital methods for food preparation like the pot, the knife and the spoon came 14th, 15th and 16th respectively, the Daily Mail reported.
A team of 45 top scientists from the Royal Society ranked a shortlist of 20 innovations by their levels of accessibility, productivity, aesthetics and health.
The group of Royal Society Fellowes, chaired by Royal Society Treasurer Sir Peter Williams, decided two of the top three discoveries were made in Britain - artificial refrigeration was first demonstrated in Glasgow in 1748, and a British merchant patented the tin can in 1810.
However, the first pasteurisation test was completed in France in 1862.
"Refrigeration has played the biggest role of any innovation in improving the diets of millions of people. It is responsible for bringing a more varied, interesting, nutritious and more affordable diet to an ever increasing number of people," The Royal Society said.
On the other hand canning provided a way of preserving all sorts of food, and also makes it easy to be transported.
The Top 20 Food and Drink Innovations in order - Refrigeration, Pasteurisation / sterilisation, Canning, The oven, Irrigation, Threshing machine/combine harvester, Baking, Selective breeding / strains, Grinding / milling, The plough, Fermentation, The fishing net, Crop rotation, The pot, The knife, Eating utensils, The cork, The barrel, The microwave oven and Frying.