A bumper crop of lettuce atop a Hong Kong skyscraper (Image: AP/Kin Cheung)

“Oh boy, oh boy, mom, you sure can hydrate a pizza!” yells a grey-haired Marty McFly in the 1989 blockbuster Back to the Future II.

In the scene -- set in 2015 -- an elderly Lorraine McFly places a cookie-sized disc inside a Black & Decker "hydrator", removing it seconds later as a steaming, full-size pepperoni pizza. Director Robert Zemeckis’ vision of a 21st century world of flying cars and television-screen waiters may not have come to pass (yet), but innovations in food and cooking mean that the menus of the future will be tastier, healthier and more exciting than anything we have even dreamt.

For a start, nutrition is going to be intensely personal.