In these days we hear this term so much; Functional foods. It looks like a new type of food category but actually functional foods a new definition for healthy foods but more legalized and classified for food labeling. I know a bit confusing for now, but be patient, it will be more clear end of the paper.
In general definition, functional foods are foods which have positive effects on human health and play a role in reducing or minimizing the risk of certain diseases. These kinds of foods must have proven health claims, if they did not prove that, you could not use this term. Otherwise, everyone could go to a TV program and say "it is functional food" for any food. Opps it is existingly happening.
Let's talk about its history. Don't freak out, I promise I won't be boring. In 1980s Japanese scientists focused on functions of healthy foods by the support of Japan government and in 1991 they established the world first policy of legally permitting the commercialization of some functional foods in terms of "food for specified health uses" (FOSHU) defined by new legislation*. I always show respect to Japanese scientists for their contributions to the world. After that, as it always has been it became popular in US like every new trend. Other important organization FOFUSA (Functional Food Science in Europe) was coordinated by ILSI (International Life Sciences Institute) in 1995 in Europe**. FOFUSA supports projects and organizes conferences about functional foods in Europe. Market share of functional foods is 300 billion $ now and it was projected to reach 441.56 billion $ by 2022***
So why is it so popular in last years? The answer is not far away from us. Sure it is popular in the 2000s because of health problems like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and so forth. The rate of unhealthy people population is increasing by day by and everyone is trying to find a solution. At this stage, functional foods come to our rescue. Don't forget the critic part; don't wait become sick for eating good foods, eat them always to be healthy.
In next page, I will explain how we could understand it is functional or not and how we should consume them.
2500 years ago Hippocrates said;
Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.
Value Hippocrates words and take care of yourself <3
1.A Mainstay of Functional Food Science In Japan, History, Present Status and Future Outlook
(Soichi A. Toshiko O. and others)
2. The European Commission Concerted Action on Functional Food Science in Europe (FUFOSE)
3. Revenue generated by the functional food market worldwide in 2017 and 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)