09/17/2012 09:19 am ET Updated Sep 17, 2012

The Top 20 Food And Drink Innovations Of All Time

Last week the U.K's national academy of science, the Royal Society, named the top 20 innovations in the history of food and drink.

The list includes modern inventions like the refrigerator and combine harvester, which beat out ancient ones like fish nets and frying. The items were chosen by a panel of distinguished Royal Society fellows, then whittled down from 100 to 20 by votes from Society fellows and food and drink industry experts. All were judged on four criteria: accessibility, productivity, aesthetics and health.

Society fellow Sir Peter Williams explained the significance of the list on the Royal Society web site:

“Royal Society Fellows have played vital roles in improving people’s lives for 350 years and science has a major role to play in meeting the global challenges of the 21st century. We thought it appropriate to look at how that innovation has shaped what we eat and drink. The poll reveals the huge role science and innovation have played in improving our health and our lives. This is something to which the scientific community continues to add.”

Scroll through the below gallery to see how your favorite food innovations measured up.

Top 20 Innovations In Food History