Functional Foods

Overwhelming evidence from epidemiological, in vivo, in vitro, and clinical trial data indicates that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of chronic disease, particularly cancer. In 1992, a review of 200 epidemiological studies showed that cancer risk in people consuming diets high in fruits and vegetables was only one-half that in those consuming few of these foods. It is now clear that there are components in a plant-based diet other than traditional nutrients that can reduce cancer risk. Functional foods containing physiologically-active components, either from plant or animal sources, may enhance health. It should be stressed, however, that functional foods are not a magic bullet or universal panacea for poor health habits. There are no “good” or “bad” foods, but there are good or bad diets. The range of food products containing probiotic strains is wide and still growing. The main products existing in the market are dairy-based ones including fermented milks, cheese, ice cream, buttermilk, milk powder, and yogurts, the latter accounting for the largest share of sales. The functional food market is expanding, especially in Japan its birthplace with further growth prospects in Europe and the United States and in most countries the largest share of its products is held by probiotics. Common foods containing probiotics include fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices, smoothies, nutrition bars, and soy drinks. The most common strains found in yogurt are L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus.

  • Nutraceuticals
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fermented Foods
  • Fermented dairy products
  • Functional food: Plant and animal sources

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