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