Functional foods are modified foods that claim to improve health quality of life or well being.
To many these are a cause for concern.
The producers of these products seize on some half fact, utilise this to sell a well priced product to a gullible public. My wife and I have raised cholesterol concentrations and for 6 months religiously took a stanol containing yoghurt with no change in our cholesterol concentrations .
There are more than 200 different functional foods which claim all manner of health wonderments.
Enrichment with phytosterol-stanols to affect low density lipoprotein cholesterol
Bioactive peptides blood pressure
Enrichment with melantonin sleep inducemen
Omega 3 fatty acids depression, triglycerides, joints
Beta glucan blood sugar and low density lipoprotein cholesterol
Prebiotics bowel function
Calcium and vitamin D bones
Protein or bioactive peptides obesity, appetite
The EU is now starting to look at this hotch potch of claims and conducting evaluations of the products. A new drug has to be tested in a series of very demanding tests. A new food just turns up on the shelves.
The European Food Safety Authority is now establishing serious requirements for nutritional claims.
De Jonge et al BMJ 2007, vol 334, 1037-1039
- Martin Eastwood