Functional food refers to food with specific nutritional and health functions, that is, food that is suitable for specific groups of people has the ability to regulate body functions, and is not for the purpose of treatment. Functional foods are also sometimes called nutraceutical foods.
In terms of academic and scientific research, it is more scientific to call it “functional food”. Its scope includes foods that enhance the body’s physique (enhance immunity, activate the lymphatic system, etc.); foods that prevent diseases (hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, constipation, and tumors, etc.); restore health (control cholesterol, prevent platelet aggregation, Foods that regulate hematopoietic function, etc.); foods that regulate body rhythms (nerve center, nerve endings, intake and absorption functions, etc.) and foods that delay aging.
Functional Food Requirements
Functional food must meet the following four requirements:
- Non-toxic and harmless, meeting proper nutritional requirements
- Its function must be clear, specific, and affirmed by scientific verification. At the same time, its function cannot replace the normal dietary intake of the human body and the requirements for various essential nutrients
- Functional foods are developed and produced for specific groups of people who need to adjust certain aspects of body functions
- It is not intended for the treatment and cannot replace the therapeutic effect of drugs on patients
Functional Food Classification:
Daily functional food: It is designed according to the physiological characteristics and nutritional requirements of various healthy consumer groups (such as infants, students and the elderly, etc.), aiming at promoting growth and development, maintaining vitality and energy, emphasizing its Industrialized food ingredients can fully display the body’s defense function and regulate physiological laws.
Special functional food: it focuses on the physical condition of certain special consumer groups, and emphasizes the regulatory function of food in preventing diseases and promoting health, such as functional food for weight loss, functional food for improving immune regulation, and cosmetic functional food.
The difference Between Functional Food and Drugs
The difference between functional food and medicine is mainly reflected in the following aspects
- Drugs are used to treat diseases, while functional foods are not for the purpose of treatment and cannot replace the therapeutic effect of drugs on patients.
- Functional food should reach the basic non-toxic or non-toxic level in modern toxicology, and should not bring any toxic side effects within the normal intake range. As a drug, a certain degree of toxicity and side effects are allowed
- Functional food does not require a doctor’s prescription, there is no dose limit, and it can be taken freely according to the normal needs of the body
European Union Standard on Functional Food
European Union Large-scale research on functional foods in Europe started at the 1996 ” Nice ” conference.
At that time, the European Branch of the International Life Science Society (ILSI) invited 50 experts from food companies and academia to France to discuss “the scientific concept of functional food and the scientific basis for the application of functional ingredients”. Food functional research results in 6 aspects, including, behavioral and psychological functions, and fat metabolism functions.
Due to the fruitful results of the meeting initiated by ILSI, in the following years, ILSI held several seminars on the theme of “functional food” and funded some related research topics, so as to promote the understanding and management of functional food in European countries. reached a consensus.
Although the term “functional food” is frequently used by food companies and consumers in Europe, it has not yet been clearly defined legally. In terms of management, “functional food” is a “grey area” that is neither food nor medicine.
Many EU countries oppose the use of this concept on the grounds that “all foods have some function”.
In 1995, the British Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (MAFF) proposed the concept of “functional food” in order to distinguish “functional food ” from breakfast cereals fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Functional ingredients (rather than just nutritional function).
At the same time, the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) also gave four major characteristics of “functional food”:
- have the shape of food (not capsule or powder)
- natural ingredients, but can be non-natural concentrates or Substances that are not normally consumed as food
- As part of the daily diet, it is safe to take without professional guidance
- Have a health-promoting effect (rather than simply supplementing nutrients), which usually occurs in on labels or promotions
Japanese Standard on Functional Food
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHW) proposed the concept of functional food in 1988 based on years of research on the physiological regulation function of food carried out by some universities and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
(FOSHU) “refers to a class of food that is expected to have certain health effects based on the knowledge about the relationship between food (or food ingredients) and health, and is approved to declare on the label that it can produce health effects after human consumption.
This type of food should have the following characteristics: A certain ingredient in the food has a special health function; the allergens in the food have been removed; both the addition of functional ingredients and the removal of allergens have been scientifically proven.
And the claims of special effects of various products caused by this are all approved; the products should not pose health and hygiene risks.
VFD – Your Functional Food Suppliers
The VFD R&D Department is mainly engaged in the research of functional food and the development of natural health functional products.
Giving full play to the unique farming in North America Resources, first-class food safety, modern agricultural technology, and other comprehensive advantages, vigorously promote the development and application of new healthy food.
Health food belongs to the life and health industry, and it is one of the key industries supported by Canada.
Functional food is a category of food, which has the commonality of general food and can regulate the functions of the human body but does not for the purpose of treating diseases, it is a special food between food and medicine.
The VFD research and development facilities are fully constructed, and a large proportion of self-owned funds support combined with government and various institutions’ scientific research funds to make the research and development The development team can create new biotechnology and health food technology more quickly and continuously.
All researchers in the team From well-known biology and food nutrition disciplines of North American universities.