The Sun reported that the refrigerator has pipped pasteurization, microwaves and pots, knives, and eating utensils to be named the most crucial innovation in the history of food and drink. Pasteurization — the process of heating food to a specific temperature to kill bacteria — and the invention of the tin can came second and third. A total of 45 British scientists from the Royal Society ranked 20 innovations by their accessibility, productivity, aesthetics, and health.
“Refrigeration has played the biggest role in improving the diets of millions of people. It’s responsible for bringing a more varied, interesting, nutritious, and affordable diet to an ever-increasing number,” the Royal Society spokesman said. The Sun said the first artificial refrigeration was tested in Glasgow in 1748. Refrigerators were only used in homes in the 1920s. The other items listed are ovens and threshing machines, irrigation or harvesters, baking grinding, selective breeding, plows, fermenters, nets for fishing crops, knives, pots, eating tools, corks, barrels, microwaves, and frying.