Advances in food and nutrition sciences highlighted that diet can provide consumers with components able to both modulate body functions, improve health status and wellbeing and/or reduce the risk of some diseases. Therefore, much research has been undertaken in recent years on development and application of technologies to develop functional foods. Functional foods and dietary supplements can make health claims and/or structure/function claims. Health claims state that an ingredient may reduce the risk of a disease, whereas, structure/function claims declare that an ingredient in the product could benefit a bodys structure (the skeletal system) or its function (the circulatory system). This paper includes information on the common products rich in nutraceutic components; explains the importance of probiotic and prebiotic foods and finally focuses on recent patents dealing with functional formulations for specific human diseases.
Keywords: Functional food, Functional components, prebiotic, probiotic, nutrigenomics, health benefit, Food sustainability, synbiotics, human colonic microbiota, functional food ingredients, Carcinogenesis, food contaminants, food-processing technology, microencapsulation, immunopotentiating material
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