Future Prospects of Functional Food

Future Prospects of Functional Food Definition and Scope Food is mainly one of the necessities in life. According to (K & Editor-in-Chief:A A Werner Klinth, 2004), there are 3 main functions of food. The primary function; mainly to provide standard nutrient components while the secondary falls into sensory properties of a food with reference to taste, flavour, appearance and texture.

However in the past three decades, a lot of attention has been paid to the ‘tertiary’ function of food, which is the functional role of food components itself by modulating physiological systems in the human body for disease prevention or health benefits. Brief History- Even from early 1940s, traces of incorporation of functional products can be seen from the fortification of cereal products with thiamine, riboflavin and niacin (Kyritsi, Tzia, & Karathanos, 2011).

After that, industries such as dairy quickly picked up with the addition of Vitamin D and much later phytosterols into the milk (Laforest et al. , 2007). According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a change in lifestyle and habits which contributes to a change in dietary patterns have increase health related problems, especially those closely linked to the heart, liver and gastrointestinal tract. Diseases such as heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and cancer becomes a lot more common today (WHO, 2003).

This is the main contributing factor to the strength of the functional food industry. Also, trends too have influence the industry considerably, with a more accepting and open attitude towards trying out food that can possibly bring in benefits to health. Other factors such as gender, age, education and demographics also play a role in influencing the willingness to purchase or consume functional food (Urala, 2007). Categories that have been studied include anticarcinogenicity, antimutagenicity, antioxidative activity and antiaging activity.

Other market segments that is growing in the functional food industry also includes weight management, age related conditions, obesity, insulin insensitivity, inflammation, bone health, joint health, Vitamin B metabolism, Glucose and Protein metabolism, Cholestrol-Lipid metabolism, blood flow and blood pressure as well as brain functions. As of current, the industries active in functional properties mainly consist of the dairy, fruits and vegetables industry while future industries to focus on are the meat and herbs sector. Past Trends and Lifestyles- In general, we can say that food choices are part of a lifestyle.

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