Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Functional foods Related Abstracts

9 Consumption Habits of Low-Fat Plant Sterol-Enriched Yoghurt Enriched with Phytosterols

Authors: M. J. Reis Lima, J. Oliveira, A. C. Sousa Pereira, M. C. Castilho, E. Teixeira-Lemos


The increasing interest in plant sterol enriched foods is due to the fact that they reduce blood cholesterol concentrations without adverse side effects. In this context, enriched foods with phytosterols may be helpful in protecting population against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present work was to evaluate in a population of Viseu, Portugal, the consumption habits low-fat, plant sterol-enriched yoghurt. For this study, 577 inquiries were made and the sample was randomly selected for people shopping in various supermarkets. The preliminary results showed that the biggest consumers of these products were women aged 45 to 65 years old. Most of the people who claimed to buy these products consumed them once a day. Also, most of the consumers under antidyslipidemic therapeutics noticed positive effects on hypercholesterolemia.

Keywords: Functional foods, Phytosterols, consumption habits, fermented milk, low fat

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8 Tomato Lycopene: Functional Properties and Health Benefits

Authors: C. S. Marques, M. J. Reis Lima, J. Oliveira, E. Teixeira-Lemos


The growing concerns for physical wellbeing and health have been reflected in the way we choose food in our table. Nowadays, we are all more informed consumers and choose healthier foods. On the other hand, stroke, cancer and atherosclerosis may be somehow minimized by the intake of some bioactive compounds present in food, the so-called nutraceuticals and functional foods. The aim of this work was to make a revision of the published studies about the effects of some bioactive compounds, namely lycopene in human health, in the prevention of diseases, thus playing the role of a functional food. Free radical in human body can induce cell damage and consequently can be responsible for the development of some cancers and chronic diseases. Lycopene is one of the most powerful antioxidants known, being the predominant carotenoid in tomato. The respective chemistry, bioavailability, and its functional role in the prevention of several diseases will be object of this work. On the other hand the inclusion of lycopene in some foods can also be made by biotechnology and represents a way to recover the wastes in the tomato industry with nutritional positive effects in health.

Keywords: Functional foods, Bioavailability, Carotenoids, lycopene, tomato, cancer and antioxidants

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7 Production of Functional Crackers Enriched with Olive (Olea europaea L.) Leaf Extract

Authors: Rosa Palmeri, Julieta I. Monteleone, Antonio C. Barbera, Carmelo Maucieri, Aldo Todaro, Virgilio Giannone, Giovanni Spagna


In recent years, considerable interest has been shown in the functional properties of foods, and a relevant role has been played by phenolic compounds, able to scavenge free radicals. A more sustainable agriculture has to emerge to guarantee food supply over the next years. Wheat, corn, and rice are the most common cereals cultivated, but also other cereal species, such as barley can be appreciated for their peculiarities. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a C3 winter cereal that shows high resistance at drought and salt stresses. There are growing interests in barley as ingredient for the production of functional foods due to its high content of phenolic compounds and Beta-glucans. In this respect, the possibility of separating specific functional fractions from food industry by-products looks very promising. Olive leaves represent a quantitatively significant by-product of olive grove farming, and are an interesting source of phenolic compounds. In particular, oleuropein, which provide important nutritional benefits, is the main phenolic compound in olive leaves and ranges from 17% to 23% depending upon the cultivar and growing season period. Together with oleuropein and its derivatives (e.g. dimethyloleuropein, oleuropein diglucoside), olive leaves further contain tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, and a series of secondary metabolities structurally related to them: verbascoside, ligstroside, hydroxytyrosol glucoside, tyrosol glucoside, oleuroside, oleoside-11-methyl ester, and nuzhenide. Several flavonoids, flavonoid glycosides, and phenolic acids have also described in olive leaves. The aim of this work was the production of functional food with higher content of polyphenols and the evaluation of their shelf life. Organic durum wheat and barley grains contain higher levels of phenolic compounds were used for the production of crackers. Olive leaf extract (OLE) was obtained from cv. ‘Biancolilla’ by aqueous extraction method. Two baked goods trials were performed with both organic durum wheat and barley flours, adding olive leaf extract. Control crackers, made as comparison, were produced with the same formulation replacing OLE with water. Total phenolic compound, moisture content, activity water, and textural properties at different time of storage were determined to evaluate the shelf-life of the products. Our the preliminary results showed that the enriched crackers showed higher phenolic content and antioxidant activity than control. Alternative uses of olive leaf extracts for crackers production could represent a good candidate for the addition of functional ingredients because bakery items are daily consumed, and have long shelf-life.

Keywords: Functional foods, polyphenols, Shelf Life, barley, olive leaf

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6 Functional Food Industry in Thailand: Perspectives from Government, Education, and Private Sector

Authors: Charintorn Suwannawong, Tananpon Yavilas, Sopida Boonaneksap, Chotika Viriyarattanasak, Chairath Tangduangdee


With increasing aging population and health conscious consumers, the demand for health promoting products such as functional foods, dietary supplements, and nutraceutical products has continuously increased in Thailand. Nevertheless, the strategic framework for regulatory functional food developments in Thailand is still unclear. The objective of this study was to survey stakeholders’ perspectives on three scopes, consisting of 1) the current status 2) obstacles, and 3) future trend for the development and production of functional foods in Thailand. A survey was conducted by interviewing ten experts from governmental organization, industrial sector and academic institute. The obtained results show that there is no established definition for functional foods in Thailand. There is a variety of raw materials that are capable to be potential ingredients for functional food production in Thailand and exported to global market. However, the scaling up technology into a commercial production is limited. Moreover, there is a need to establish the infrastructures, such as testing laboratory, and regulatory standards for quality control and ensuring product safety. This information is useful for government in the development of the strategic framework and policy statement on improvement of functional food industry in Thailand.

Keywords: Functional foods, perspective, Thailand, interview

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5 In vitro Study of Inflammatory Gene Expression Suppression of Strawberry and Blackberry Extracts

Authors: Franco Van De Velde, Debora Esposito, Maria E. Pirovani, Mary A. Lila


The physiology of various inflammatory diseases is a complex process mediated by inflammatory and immune cells such as macrophages and monocytes. Chronic inflammation, as observed in many cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders, occurs when the low-grade inflammatory response fails to resolve with time. Because of the complexity of the chronic inflammatory disease, major efforts have focused on identifying novel anti-inflammatory agents and dietary regimes that prevent the pro-inflammatory process at the early stage of gene expression of key pro-inflammatory mediators and cytokines. The ability of the extracts of three blackberry cultivars (‘Jumbo’, ‘Black Satin’ and ‘Dirksen’), and one strawberry cultivar (‘Camarosa’) to inhibit four well-known genetic biomarkers of inflammation: inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxynase-2 (Cox-2), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in an in vitro lipopolysaccharide-stimulated murine RAW 264.7 macrophage model were investigated. Moreover, the effect of latter extracts on the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) production was assessed. Assay was conducted with 50 µg/mL crude extract concentration, an amount that is easily achievable in the gastrointestinal tract after berries consumption. The mRNA expression levels of Cox-2 and IL-6 were reduced consistently (more than 30%) by extracts of ‘Jumbo’ and ‘Black Satin’ blackberries. Strawberry extracts showed high reduction in mRNA expression levels of IL-6 (more than 65%) and exhibited moderate reduction in mRNA expression of Cox-2 (more than 35%). The latter behavior mirrors the intracellular ROS production of the LPS stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages after the treatment with blackberry ‘Black Satin’ and ‘Jumbo’, and strawberry ‘Camarosa’ extracts, suggesting that phytochemicals from these fruits may play a role in the health maintenance by reducing oxidative stress. On the other hand, effective inhibition in the gene expression of IL-1β and iNOS was not observed by any of blackberry and strawberry extracts. However, suppression in the NO production in the activated macrophages among 5–25% was observed by ‘Jumbo’ and ‘Black Satin’ blackberry extracts and ‘Camarosa’ strawberry extracts, suggesting a higher NO suppression property by phytochemicals of these fruits. All these results suggest the potential beneficial effects of studied berries as functional foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory roles. Moreover, the underlying role of phytochemicals from these fruits in the protection of inflammatory process will deserve to be further explored.

Keywords: Functional foods, cyclooxygenase-2, reactive oxygen species, interleukin-6

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4 The Effects of Labeling Cues on Sensory and Affective Responses of Consumers to Categories of Functional Food Carriers: A Mixed Factorial ANOVA Design

Authors: Hedia El Ourabi, Marc Alexandre Tomiuk, Ahmed Khalil Ben Ayed


The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of the labeling cues traceability (T), health claim (HC), and verification of health claim (VHC) on consumer affective response and sensory appeal toward a wide array of functional food carriers (FFC). Predominantly, research in the food area has tended to examine the effects of these information cues independently on cognitive responses to food product offerings. Investigations and findings of potential interaction effects among these factors on effective response and sensory appeal are therefore scant. Moreover, previous studies have typically emphasized single or limited sets of functional food products and categories. In turn, this study considers five food product categories enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, namely: meat products, eggs, cereal products, dairy products and processed fruits and vegetables. It is, therefore, exhaustive in scope rather than exclusive. An investigation of the potential simultaneous effects of these information cues on the affective responses and sensory appeal of consumers should give rise to important insights to both functional food manufacturers and policymakers. A mixed (2 x 3) x (2 x 5) between-within subjects factorial ANOVA design was implemented in this study. T (two levels: completely traceable or non-traceable) and HC (three levels: functional health claim, or disease risk reduction health claim, or disease prevention health claim) were treated as between-subjects factors whereas VHC (two levels: by a government agency and by a non-government agency) and FFC (five food categories) were modeled as within-subjects factors. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of the six between-subjects conditions. A total of 463 questionnaires were obtained from a convenience sample of undergraduate students at various universities in the Montreal and Ottawa areas (in Canada). Consumer affective response and sensory appeal were respectively measured via the following statements assessed on seven-point semantic differential scales: ‘Your evaluation of [food product category] enriched with omega-3 fatty acids is Unlikeable (1) / Likeable (7)’ and ‘Your evaluation of [food product category] enriched with omega-3 fatty acids is Unappetizing (1) / Appetizing (7).’ Results revealed a significant interaction effect between HC and VHC on consumer affective response as well as on sensory appeal toward foods enriched with omega-3 fatty acids. On the other hand, the three-way interaction effect between T, HC, and VHC on either of the two dependent variables was not significant. However, the triple interaction effect among T, VHC, and FFC was significant on consumer effective response and the interaction effect among T, HC, and FFC was significant on consumer sensory appeal. Findings of this study should serve as impetus for functional food manufacturers to closely cooperate with policymakers in order to improve on and legitimize the use of health claims in their marketing efforts through credible verification practices and protocols put in place by trusted government agencies. Finally, both functional food manufacturers and retailers may benefit from the socially-responsible image which is conveyed by product offerings whose ingredients remain traceable from farm to kitchen table.

Keywords: Functional foods, labeling cues, effective appeal, sensory appeal

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3 Recent Advances in Research on Carotenoids: From Agrofood Production to Health Outcomes

Authors: Antonio J. Melendez-Martinez


Beyond their role as natural colorants, some carotenoids are provitamins A and may be involved in health-promoting biological actions and contribute to reducing the risk of developing non-communicable diseases, including several types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, eye conditions, skin disorders or metabolic disorders. Given the versatility of carotenoids, the COST-funded European network to advance carotenoid research and applications in agro-food and health (EUROCAROTEN) is aimed at promoting health through the diet and increasing well-being by means. Stakeholders from 38 countries participate in this network, and one of its main objectives is to promote research on little-studied carotenoids. In this contribution, recent advances of our research group and collaborators in the study of two such understudied carotenoids, namely phytoene and phytofluene, the colorless carotenoids, are outlined. The study of these carotenoids is important as they have been largely neglected despite they are present in our diets, fluids, and tissues, and evidence is accumulating that they may be involved in health-promoting actions. More specifically, studies on their levels in diverse tomato and orange varieties were carried out as well as on their potential bioavailability from different dietary sources. Furthermore, the potential effect of these carotenoids on an animal model subjected to oxidative stress was evaluated. The tomatoes were grown in research greenhouses, and some of them were subjected to regulated deficit irrigation, a sustainable agronomic practice. The citrus samples were obtained from an experimental field. The levels of carotenoids were assessed using HPLC according to routine methodologies followed in our lab. Regarding the potential bioavailability (bioaccessibility) studies, different products containing colorless carotenoids, like fruits, juices, were subjected to simulated in vitro digestions, and their incorporation into mixed micelles was assessed. The effect of the carotenoids on oxidative stress was evaluated on the Caenorhabditis elegans model. For that purpose, the worms were subjected to oxidative stress by means of a hydrogen peroxide challenge. In relation to the presence of colorless carotenoids in tomatoes and orange varieties, it was observed that they are widespread in such products and that there are mutants with very high quantities of them, for instance, the Cara Cara or Pinalate mutant oranges. The studies on their bioaccessibility revealed that, in general, phytoene and phytofluene are more bioaccessible than other common dietary carotenoids, probably due to their distinctive chemical structure. About the in vivo antioxidant capacity of phytoene and phytofluene, it was observed that they both exerted antioxidant effects at certain doses. In conclusion, evidence on the importance of phytoene and phytofluene as dietary easily bioavailable and antioxidant carotenoids has been obtained in recent studies from our group, which can be important shortly to innovate in health-promotion through the development of functional foods and related products.

Keywords: Nutrition, Functional foods, Health, Carotenoids, phytoene, phytofluene

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2 Functional Foods and Their Health Benefits with an Emphasis on Probiotics

Authors: Tanu Malik, Eusebe Gnonlonfoun, Eudes L. Anihouvi


The rise of nutrition-related diseases, increase of health care cost, and the social perception that food could directly affect health have naturally created an environment conducive to the development of foods and beverages with an asserted health benefit. Consumer habits have turned considerably healthier in recent years and led to the demand for fortified and enhanced foods that could adequately provide health benefits beyond necessary nutrients for humans when they are consumed as part of the diet and regularly. These trends have developed a global market for functional foods, that grows annually and undoubtedly requires to be diversified. Product development appears thus as a key research priority for both the food industry and science sectors. The health benefits of these functional foods are summarized in two possible ways: either indirectly as a desired result of biogenic effect or through the direct interaction of ingested live microorganisms with the host (probiotic effect). This paper reviews functional foods and their beneficial health effects with a key focus on probiotics for the possible expansion of their use by the food industry in order to develop non-dairy based probiotics foods. Likewise, it reveals the need for more researches oriented towards an accurate understanding of the possible interaction between probiotic strains and the matrix and, on the other hand, the interaction between probiotic strains and some enzymes used during food manufacturing.

Keywords: Functional foods, Probiotics, Food industry, Health Benefits

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1 Searching for an Effective Marketing in the Food Supplement Industry in Japan

Authors: Michiko Miyamoto


The market for "functional foods" and "foods with functional claims" that are effective in maintaining and improving health, has expanded year by year due to the entry of major food and beverage manufacturers following the introduction of the specified health food system in 1991 in Japan. To bring health claims related products or services to the market, it is necessary to let consumers to learn about these products or services; an effective marketing through advertising are important. This research proposes a framework for an effective advertisement medium for the food supplement industry by using survey data of 2,500 people.

Keywords: Functional foods, Marketing Strategy, Structural Equation Modeling, dietary supplements

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