Background: Eating behaviours are closely related to some medical conditions potentially leading to
death such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Healthy eating practices, maintaining a normal weight,
and regular physical activity could prevent up to 80% of coronary heart disease, 90% of type-2 diabetes and onethird
of all cancers .
Method: Over the last two decades, the food industry has invested much effort in research and development of
healthier, more nutritious foods. These foods are frequently designated “functional” when they contain nutritional
components required for healthy living or “nutraceuticals” when intended to treat or prevent disease or disorders
through a variety of bioactive (e.g., antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, hypocholesterolaemic) functions
that are performed by functional enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, fibres, phytosterols, peptides, proteins,
isoflavones, saponins or phytic acid, among other substances.
Results: Some agricultural and industrial residues have proven to be excellent choices as raw materials for producing
bioactive compounds and have been proposed as potentially safe natural sources of antimicrobials and/or
antioxidants for the food industry. Functional food ingredients containing bioactive compounds could be used as
plant extracts by pharmaceutical and food industries.
Conclusion: Bioactive food components influence health outcomes.