Functional Foods

Functional foods are food products that have been specifically modified to incorporate a beneficial health effect beyond their immediate nutritional value. However, they are difficult to define as a category and are continually evolving as a novel type of food. They emerged in the market in the late 1980s as a result of product development and marketing efforts targeting what was conceived as increasingly health-conscious consumers. The definition of functional foods varies between countries and contexts, and their regulation is often organized through a focus on the health claims the products carry. For their promoters, the benefits of functional foods lie in their economic potential and effects on public health. Critics point out that there are other more traditional and less expensive ways to eat ...

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