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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Functional foods are foods and food components that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Functional foods do more than just provide nutrients – they may play a role in reducing your risk of disease or in improving your health.

  • These foods include health-promoting ingredients or natural components found in conventional foods, fortified, enriched or enhanced foods.

  • A food can be regarded as “functional” if it is satisfactorily demonstrated to affect beneficially one or more target functions in the body, beyond adequate nutritional effects, in a way that is relevant to either an improved state of health and well-being and/or reduction of risk of disease.

Beneficial Effects

  • Erythritol, an all-natural bulk sweetener, offers sensorial as well as functional benefits for use in such beverages. It can improve taste quality by adding body and mouthfeel, and it is capable of masking unwanted off-flavors often associated with intense sweeteners.

  • Nutritional research has shown that eating functional foods on a regular basis, as part of a balanced and varied diet, can enhance health and reduce the risk of many acute and chronic diseases.

Market

  • Functional foods are considered to be a major potential growth area for the food industry. The market is currently
    estimated to be worth in excess of €3.3bn in the major European countries.

  • Recent growth in the functional foods market stems from a variety of factors. These include identification of
    physiologically active components in foods, as well as an aging population and rising health care costs which are leading consumers to take more responsibility for their own health.

  • The current global market for functional foods is valued at US$14 billion with growth rates running at more than 10% as opposed to 1% to 1.5% for the traditional food sector.

  • The global functional foods market continues to be a dynamic and growing segment of the food industry. Rapid growth will continue for several years and taper off by 2010, when functional foods are expected to represent five percent of the total global food market.

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