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The Role of Functional Food Security in Global Health

The Role of Functional Food Security in Global Health

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The Role of Functional Food Security in Global Health

Comprimento:
1,858 página
18 horas
Lançado em:
Nov 2, 2018
ISBN:
9780128131497
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

The Role of Functional Food Security in Global Health presents a collective approach to food security through the use of functional foods as a strategy to prevent under nutrition and related diseases. This approach reflects the views of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the World Heart Federation and the American Heart Association who advise Mediterranean, Paleolithic, plant food based diets, and European vegetarian diets for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. In addition, the book also emphasizes the inclusion of spices, herbs and millets, as well as animal foods.

This book will be a great resource to the food industry as it presents the most efficient ways to use technology to manufacture slowly absorbed, micronutrient rich functional foods by blending foods that are rich in healthy nutrients.

  • Provides greater knowledge on functional food security
  • Highlights the necessary changes to the western diet that are needed to achieve food security
  • Explains the utility and necessity of functional food security in the prevention of noncommunicable diseases
  • Presents policy changes in food production for farmers and the larger food industry
  • Offers suggestions on what can be done to enhance functional food production while simultaneously decreasing production costs
Lançado em:
Nov 2, 2018
ISBN:
9780128131497
Formato:
Livro

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Amostra do Livro

The Role of Functional Food Security in Global Health - Academic Press

https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8030128.

Section I

World Population and Food Availability

Outline

Chapter 1 Estimates for World Population and Global Food Availability for Global Health

Chapter 2 Estimates of Functional Foods Availability in the 10 Most Highly Populous Countries

Chapter 3 The Singh’s Concept of Functional Foods and Functional Farming (4 F) for World Health

Chapter 4 Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases and Economic Cost of Functional Foods for Prevention

Chapter 1

Estimates for World Population and Global Food Availability for Global Health

Abhishek D. Tripathi¹, Richa Mishra², Kamlesh K. Maurya¹, Ram B. Singh³ and Douglas W. Wilson⁴,    ¹Centre of Food Science and Technology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India,    ²Department of Home Science, AryaMahila PG College, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India,    ³Halberg Hospital and Research Institute, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India,    ⁴Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom

Abstract

The world has been facing an epidemic of undernutrition along with population explosion, resulting in a need for increased food availability. The concept behind food security is to increase the food availability to the population, so that the imbalance between the demand and supply of food is healthier and beneficial to the consumer. Recent advancements in food technology, plant breeding, and genetic engineering have enabled regions of the world to have adequate food resulting in a decrease in undernutrition and leading to the emergence of obesity and noncommunicable diseases. Since functional foods can decrease these problems, there is a need to produce more functional foods to ensure that they are used more efficiently and equitably, under a multifaceted and linked global strategy, for sustainable and equitable functional food security for the world population. Since data on functional food availability and functional food consumption are not available for all the countries, it is difficult to assess how much functional food would be needed for health promotion and diseases prevention by the year 2050.

Keywords

Functional foods; functional food security; world population; health

1.1 Introduction

There is a continuous growth in the world population as well as food consumption, resulting in greater necessity and utility of food security for the world [1–3]. The world has been facing an epidemic of undernutrition along with population explosion, resulting in a need for increased food availability [1–4]. The concept behind food security is to increase the food availability, so that the imbalance between the demand and supply of food is covered [1]. In view of this fact, the World Food Summit in 1996, defined food security as follows Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life [1,3]. A continuous growth in the population as well as malnutrition and related diseases would require that the global demand for food will increase for at least the next five decades [3–8]. The competition for land, water, and energy would continue to grow, apart from the overexploitation of fisheries, sea foods, and foods available from the forest [9]. Therefore, increased the requirement of foods will affect our ability to produce food as well as the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. Furthermore, there is a threat to food production due the effects of global changes in weather and climate. However, recent advancements in food technology, plant breeding, and genetic engineering would be able to produce more food and would ensure that it is used more efficiently and equitably, under a multifaceted and linked global strategy, to ensure sustainable and equitable food security for the world population [9–11]. This review emphasizes the new dimensions of functional food security which may be important in global health and longevity.

1.2 Food and Agricultural Transition

The evolution of farming occurred by domestication of plants about 10,000 years ago, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia. This region includes the modern countries of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria, where people collected and planted the seeds of wild plants. The ancient people in these regions were able to judge from their experience how much water the plants need to grow [3–5]. They planted in areas with the right amount of sun and later on, after a few weeks or months when the plants blossomed, people harvested the food crops. Wheat, barley, lentils, and a variety of peas were the first domesticated plants in Mesopotamia. In other parts of the world, including eastern Asia, parts of Africa, and parts of North and South America, people also domesticated plants during the early period of civilization, including rice in Asia and potatoes and maize in South America.

In the 20th century, the modern affluent society of the Western world began large-scale use of fertilizers and biotechnology for rapid growth of crops for greater yield of foods. Refining and processing of foods, storing and distributing them became widespread in the continuous search for a better economic model [5–8]. Industrialization and urbanization leading to economic development and affluence were associated with greater availability of foods to populations in middle- and high-income countries. Fig. 1.1 shows UNO estimates of emergence of obesity from 2014 to 2030 due to urbanization in big cities with populations of more than 10 million. However, foods available to the modern urban world are high in energy and fat but poor in nutrient density, resulting in obesity and metabolic syndrome. Diets in urban areas are characterized with a decrease in the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids and a significant increase in the intakes of carbohydrates (mainly refined), fat (saturated, trans fat, and linoleic acid), and salt compared generally to those living in the Paleolithic period.

Figure 1.1 Dietary patterns with urbanization in cities on future prevalence of obesity in big cities.

1.3 Food Security and Functional Food Security

Food security essentially is the combination of four important factors: food availability, food access, food utilization, and vulnerability [1,2]. The major challenge is to provide the world’s growing population with a sustainable, secure supply of safe, nutritious, and affordable high quality food using the least land, with lower input, and in the context of global climate change, other environmental changes and declining resources [1–3]. Recently the presence or absence of hunger has been the primary measurement to assess the food security as it applies to an individual’s well-being, which does not appear to be correct [1–3]. In the first decade of the 21st century it was thought that the world would overcome the divide between people who are free from hunger and those who are not [1–3]. Globally, hunger and poverty claim 25,000 lives every day. A decline in food availability may be associated with malnutrition with micronutrient deficiencies, leading to undernutrition and related diseases [6–8]. Low birthweight and childhood underweight are the leading risk factors that are responsible for death of 2 million children per year. The majority of the people with hunger are in the developing countries. Southern Asia faces the greatest hunger burden and hunger is the leading cause of undernutrition-related global burden of diseases. Nutrition in transition from poverty to affluence indicates that there is increased availability of Western foods, particularly in urban areas, resulting in food security for most populations of the world [1–4,7,8] (Fig. 1.1). However, as per IHME News, USA, Oct 2015, The biggest cause of early death in the world is not smoking or alcohol—it’s what you eat (Staufenberg J, Oct 2015). This observation is supported by intensive research because both undernutrition due to food scarcity and overnutrition due to food security are associated with a significant increase in metabolic syndrome, which is a risk factor of death due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes, and cancer [6–8]. The world’s population suffering from undernourishment is around 12.5%, reduced from almost half of the world’s population in 1947 as per records of FAO, which may be due to better food security. However, 868 million people remain hungry, an estimated 2 billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies and an estimated 1.4 billion people are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese, which predisposes to CVDs and other chronic diseases. It is clear that despite adequate food security, proper distribution of food and access to food by lower social classes is limited due to poverty [1–3,9].

Originally, the term food security was used to describe whether a country had access to enough food to meet dietary energy requirements [1,9]. National food security was used by some countries, which means that the country produces enough foods as per the requirements of the population. The use of the term food security at the national and global level tends to focus on the supply side of the food equation. The question raised is, Is there enough food available? where food is usually interpreted to mean dietary energy. But availability does not assure access, and enough calories do not assure a healthy and nutritious diet, hence distribution of the available food is critical. If food security is to be a measure of household or individual welfare, it has to address access. This was widely recognized by scholars and practitioners in the mid-1970s, and food security was defined as access by all people to enough food to lead a healthy and productive life. This definition was subsequently amplified by FAO to include the nutritional value and food preferences. Thus the definition agreed upon at the World Food Summit in 1996 is that food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy and active life [1,9]. However, food security has been provided but not by means of nutritious foods, resulting in obesity and its related diseases [4–8].

The food security has been the priority of most of the governments and health agencies, without much consideration for functional foods. It was unexpected that providing Western type foods, would enhance life expectancy for 60 years or more [1,6,9]. Thus, economic development has caused an increased intake of an unhealthy diet as well as physical inactivity, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption, which may be responsible for emergence of cardiometabolic diseases and other chronic diseases [4–9]. Dietary patterns high in complex carbohydrates and fiber give way to more varied diets with a lower proportion of fats, saturated fats, and sugars with high nutrient density [4,5]. Globally, calories obtained from meat, sugar, oils and fats have been increasing during recent decades, and those from fiber-rich foods such as wholegrains, pulses, and roots have been declining [9]. The consumption of processed and ready-prepared convenience foods is rapidly increasing in lower- and upper-middle-income countries [1–3]. Therefore, increased food availability without consideration of functional foods supply, appears to be the major cause of epidemics of obesity and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) [9–11]. Recently, the Global Burden of Diseases study has demonstrated that there is a marked reduction in death rates due to undernutrition and related diseases with an emergence of morbidity and mortality due to CVDs and other chronic diseases [7].

1.4 Total World Population and Total Food Availability

The world population is currently growing at a rate of around 1.13% per year and the current average population change is estimated at around 80 million per year. The United Nations estimated that the world’s population will increase from 7.4 billion in 2016 to 8.1 billion in 2025, with most growth in developing countries and more than half in Africa [12]. By 2050, the world population will reach 9.6 billion, 34% higher than today and the majority of the increase will be in developing countries (Fig. 1.2). Urbanization will continue at an accelerated pace with multiple increases in incomes, and about 70% of the world’s population will be urban, compared to 49% today. In order to feed this larger, more urban, and richer population, food production (net of food used for biofuels) must increase by 70%. With the global population expected to be above 9 billion and given the demands for high protein and micronutrient-rich diets by populations with increasing incomes, governments around the world would be hard pressed to meet the demand. Between 1970 and 1990, global aggregate farm yield rose by an average of 2% each year, largely due to the green revolution and greater availability of manufactured ready-prepared foods as well as due to focused investments in research and technology [11]. Since 1990, aggregate farm yield growth has stagnated and even reversed in some areas for a variety of reasons (Fig. 1.2).

Figure 1.2 Population growth from 2015 to 2025 and 2050. Modified from Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (2007).

Annual cereal production will need to rise to about 3 billion tons from 2.1 billion today and annual meat production will need to rise by over 200 million tons to reach 470 million tons. Table 1.3 shows the estimates of cereal production, utilization, and stocks [3]. The required increase in food production can be achieved if the necessary investment is undertaken and policies conducive to agricultural production are put in place. But increasing production is not sufficient to achieve food security. It must be complemented by policies to enhance access by fighting poverty, especially in rural areas, as well as effective safety net programs. Total average annual net investment in developing country agriculture required to deliver the necessary production increases would amount to US$83 billion. The required annual gross investment of US$209 billion, includes the cost of renewing depreciating investments, with the result of a separate study that estimated that developing countries on average invested US$142 billion (US$ of 2009) annually in agriculture over the past decade. The required increase is thus about 50%. These figures are totals for public and private investment, including investments by farmers, which will require a major reallocation in developing country budgets as well as in donor programs. It will also require policies that support farmers in developing countries and encourage them and other private participants in agriculture to increase their investment. Fig. 1.4, shows the increase in relative global production of crops and animals since 1991 to maintain food security [1].

Many countries will continue depending on international trade to ensure their food security. It is estimated that by 2050 developing countries’ net imports of cereals will more than double from 135 million metric tons in 2008/09 to 300 million in 2050. There is a need to move towards a global trading system that is fair and competitive, and that contributes to a dependable market for food. There is also a need to provide support and greater market access to developing country farmers so that they can compete on a more equal footing. Countries also need to consider joint measures to be better prepared for future shocks to the global system, through coordinated action in case of food crises, reform of trade rules, and joint finance to assist people affected by a new price spike or localized disasters.

1.5 Food Production and Climate Change

Climate change and increased biofuel production represent major risks for long-term food security. The past half-century has seen marked growth in food production, allowing for a dramatic decrease in the proportion of the world’s people that are hungry, despite a two-fold increase in the total world population [13–16]. Nevertheless, more than one in seven people today still do not have access to sufficient protein and energy from their diet, and even more suffer from some form of micronutrient malnourishment [16]. The world is now facing a new set of intersecting challenges [17]. The global population will continue to grow, yet it is likely to plateau at some 9 billion people by roughly the middle of this century. A major correlate of this deceleration in population growth is increased wealth with higher purchasing power resulting in higher consumption and a greater demand for processed food, meat, dairy, and fish, all of which add pressure to the food supply system.

Although countries in the southern hemisphere are not the main originators of climate change, they may suffer the greatest share of damage in the form of declining yields and greater frequency of extreme weather events. Studies estimate that the aggregate negative impact of climate change on African agricultural output up to 2080–2100 could be between 15% and 30%. Agriculture will have to adapt to climate change, but it can also help mitigate the effects of climate change, and useful synergies exist between adaptation and mitigation [18–20]. Biofuel production based on agricultural commodities increased more than three-fold from 2000 to 2008. In 2007–08 total usage of coarse grains for the production of ethanol reached 110 million tons, about 10% of global production. Increased use of food crops for biofuel production could have serious implications for food security.

At the same time, food manufacturers are experiencing greater competition for land, water, and energy, and the regulations to curb the negative effects of food production on the environment which is becoming increasingly clear [18,19]. Despite these issues, the threat of the effects of substantial climate change and concerns about how mitigation and adaptation measures may affect the food system are challenging [20]. Recently, a Lancet Commission concluded that the response to climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century [20]. The purpose is to track the health impacts of climate hazards such as health resilience and adaptation, health co-benefits of climate change mitigation, economics and finance, and political and broader engagement [20].

It is extremely difficult to assess precisely the current status of global food security from such a broad concept, although the big picture is clear. About 2 billion of the global population of over 7 billion are food insecure because they fall short of one or several of the FAO’s dimensions of food security. Enormous geographic differences in the prevalence of hunger exist within this global estimate, in high-income countries to middle- and lower-income countries [1–3,13–19]. The projection shows that feeding a world population of 9.6 billion people in 2050 would require raising overall food production by some 70% between 2005/07 and 2050 [13–17]. Production in the developing countries would need to almost double. The demand of food is expected to continue to grow as a result both of population growth and rising income. Demand for cereal is projected to reach some 3 billion tonnes by 2050 (Fig. 1.3). The FAO has estimated that annual cereal production will have to grow by almost a billion tons (2.1 million tons) and meat production by over 200 million tons to reach a total of 470 million tons in 2050, 72% of which will be consumed in the developing countries, up from the 58% of today (Figs. 1.4 and 1.5).

Figure 1.3 Estimates of cereal production, utilization, and stocks. Modified from FAO 2016.

Figure 1.4 Changes in relative global production of crops and animals since 1991. Modified from Godfray H.C.J., Beddington J.R., Crute I.R., Haddad L., Lawrence D., Muir J.F., et al. Food Security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science 2010; 327: 812-818.

Figure 1.5 Estimates of global progress in food consumption pattern, 1964–2030 (FAO 2002).

1.6 Total Functional Foods Available for Consumption

The exact definition of functional foods is not yet decided and the exact quantities of functional foods available in the world are not known. However, according to the International College of Nutrition and most other agencies, functional foods are defined as those foods which contain certain nutrients or bioactive compounds that can address some physiological mechanism of our body providing a benefit [2,5]. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, spices, olive oil, mustard oil, canola oil, and flax seed oil are common functional foods which have been used for the management of obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and CVDs [2,5–8]. These foods are rich in essential and nonessential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which are known to be protective against CVDs and other chronic diseases [2,5] (Table 1.1). The micronutrient content of the foods can be altered by organic farming, altering soil in general farming, plant breeding, and genetic engineering. The food industry has a particular role in developing functional foods by incorporating protective micronutrients in the food matrix [5]. There is a considerable focus on the development of value-added functional food products to combat various diseases like CVDs, diabetes, cancer, anemia, and other chronic diseases [5–8]. Overwhelming evidence from epidemiological, in vivo, in vitro, trial data indicate that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, particularly CVDs, diabetes, and cancer. Epidemiological studies and intervention trials showed that cancer risk in people consuming diets high in fruits and vegetables was only one-half of that in those consuming lower amounts of these foods [4–8].

Table 1.1

1.7 Food and Agriculture Organization Agenda

The exact quantity of total foods and functional foods available in the world are not known. The latest outlook of the FAO for global cereal supply and demand in 2017/18 remains favorable and global stocks remain around their record-high opening levels [3,5] (Figs. 1.3 and 1.4). The forecasts for world cereal production by FAO are in 2017 at 2,594 million tons, 5 million tons lower than the May forecast and down 14.1 million tons (0.5%) year-on-year [3]. There are expectations of a 2.2% decline in global wheat output as well as lower barley and sorghum production. These declines would be covered by greater global maize output, driven primarily by strong rebounds in South America and Southern Africa, and a 0.7% increase in world rice production [3,5]. FAO also forecasts increased World cereal utilization in 2017/18 which is projected at a record level of 2 584 million tons, up 13 million tons (0.5%) from 2016/17, Fig. 1.3, [3]. This forecast stands 11 million tons below May expectations, reflecting lower estimates for wheat and maize, particularly for China [3,6]. The total wheat utilization is projected to decline by 0.4% from 2016/17, whereas the total use of coarse grains and rice are expected to grow by 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively [3]. The forecast of 7.3 million tons cereals (mainly wheat and maize inventories), for 2018, by FAO are much higher compared to 2017, because rice growth remains steady [3] (Fig. 1.4). Moreover some of the cereals and other crops would also be used as livestock feed which may increase the estimated demand. Since there may be weaker demand for wheat, maize, and sorghum, the world trade for cereals may decline by 5 million tons in 2017/18 due to decreased production of coarse grains [3]. It is a mistake that the coarse grain, such as millets, may also decline, which appears to be due to lack of knowledge of the farmers and consumers as well as concerned government departments, about their beneficial effects on health, Figs. 1.4 and 1.5 [2,4,5].

The FAO agenda for pulses and legumes appears too good because these foods are considered functional foods which can replace wheat and corn and provide functional food security. The 68th UN General Assembly of the FAO/UNO declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) (A/RES/68/231). It is important that sustainable development of health adopted by the global community in the 2030 agenda is not possible without adequate production of pulses and legumes [10,11]. There is a unique opportunity, due to the International Year of Pulses 2016, to bring to the fore the challenges faced by the sector and to galvanize stakeholders to ensure the successful role of pulses in food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation, and sustainability. The main pulses are lentils, red beans, green beans, kidney beans, grams, peas, etc. They are rich in proteins and carbohydrates but also provide fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, minerals, and antioxidant flavonoids. The main purpose of the IYP 2016 is to highlight public awareness and the nutritional benefits of pulses and legumes, as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition which would be a new step towards functional food security. This effort would encourage connections throughout the food chain that would better utilize pulse-based proteins, further global production of pulses, better utilize crop rotations, and address the challenges in the trade of pulses and legumes. A substantial growth in the production of pulses is important for food diversity, environmental biodiversity, as well as having beneficial effects on climate change and health and provides sustainable future human development [6–8].

The IYP 2016 would also help in valuation and utilization of pulses throughout the food system, their benefits for soil fertility and climate change, and for combating malnutrition so that there is little emergence of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet for health promotion and prevention of obesity, as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes, CVDs, and cancer; they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals. There is a need to increase connections throughout the food chain to further global production of pulses and legumes by promotion of research and increased utilization of crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses with the help of food technology. The term pulses is used solely for dry grain, which excludes crops harvested green for food, and classified as vegetable crops, as well as those crops used mainly for oil extraction. Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas are a critical part of the general food basket. Pulses are leguminous plants that have nitrogen-fixing properties that can contribute to increasing soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment [10,11]. The total of food wastage in developing and developed countries is given in Fig. 1.6. There is a need to develop new affordable technology to reduce food wastage which is important in increasing food production.

Figure 1.6 Total of food wastage in developing and developed countries. Modified from Godfray H.C.J., Beddington J.R., Crute I.R., Haddad L., Lawrence D., Muir J.F., et al. Food Security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science 2010; 327: 812-818.

1.8 Development of Functional Food by Food Manufacturing

In the healthy food and beverage market, the key driver of most functional food innovation, from plant-based products to the introduction of full-fat functional dairy, is the rise of green juices, blueberries, raisins, walnuts, almonds, cocoa, tea, seaweed snacking, and several more healthy propositions. This attractive and most-powerful trend appears to be due to consumers’ choice for foods and ingredients from natural sources. The value of these foods has been demonstrated in the cohort studies and intervention trials [21–26]. Since supplementation of these foods brings a natural and intrinsic health benefit, companies can convey a compelling message about their benefits. It is clear that if people draw their own conclusions about the benefits of a naturally functional ingredient or product, then a health claim is not necessary [25]. Most of the foods and nutrients given above are blended by the food manufacturers into other foods to provide healthy recipes which may be good for health promotion. Calcium and vitamin D have been added by the dairy industry for fortification of dairy products to prevent bone and joint diseases in infants and children as well as among adults and elderly populations. Cocoa has become an important ingredient of all modern foods because of its flavor and flavanol content which activates NO release and insulin sensitivity [25]. There are a few other examples of products fortified with vitamins and minerals which include calcium-fortified confectionery and fruit drinks, and calcium-enriched milk with folic acid. Folic acid is considered as a vital nutrient in early pregnancy, protecting against spina bifida. Similarly the importance of calcium has been observed in combating and counteracting osteoporosis. The prevalence of osteoporosis is significantly lethal among the increasing population of elderly people in developed countries, and improving calcium intake has been seen as particularly significant in this sector of the functional foods market. However, increased intake of calcium salts has been found to cause more calcium in the arteries which can predispose to atherosclerosis.

There is a significant increase in the number of people suffering from CVDs in the last two decades which appears to be due to increased prevalence of environmental risk factors and decline in nutrients in the diet, that are known to modulate blood cholesterol. This category includes omega-3 fatty acids and plant sterols. Examples of products in this area include a margarine containing plant sterol fatty acid esters designed to reduce cholesterol absorption, and omega-3-enriched eggs produced by chickens fed a micro-algal feed ingredient. Dietary fiber comprises the nondigestible structural carbohydrates of plant cell walls and associated lignans. Consumption of fiber has been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, e.g., consumption of wheat bran has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer. High-fiber products include wholewheat pasta with three times the fiber of regular pasta.

A probiotic can be defined as a live microbial food supplement which beneficially affects the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance. Probiotics are thought to have a range of potential health benefits, including cholesterol-lowering, cancer chemopreventative, and immune-enhancing effects. Probiotics are viewed currently as the world’s biggest functional food products. This sector of the functional foods market has been stimulated in recent years by the development of prebiotics, short-chain oligosaccharides which enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria already in the gut, and synbiotics which combine pro- and prebiotic characteristics. The field of gut health is now an area of intense research in functional food science. Cancer and other mutations can occur as a result of oxidative damage to DNA caused by free radicals generated as a damaging side-effect of aerobic metabolism. Plant and animal cells defend themselves against these effects by deploying so-called antioxidant compounds to trap or quench free radicals and hence arrest their damaging reactions. Antioxidants thus play a role in the body’s defense against CVDs, certain (epithelial) cancers, visual impairments, arthritis, and asthma. Antioxidants include vitamin E, carotene, vitamin C, and certain phytochemicals. Functional products incorporating antioxidant supplements include sports bars containing vitamins C and E as well as a blend of several carotenoids (alpha- and gamma-carotene and lycopene).

Plant foods are rich in micronutrients, but they also contain an immense variety of biologically active, nonnutritive secondary metabolites providing color, flavor, and natural toxicity to pests and sometimes humans. These phytochemicals have been linked to reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease. They include glucosinolates and phenolic compounds like flavonoids which are very effective antioxidants. Examples of products including phytochemicals are children’s confectionery containing concentrates of vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots. More recently, herbs and botanicals such as ginkgo, ginseng, and guarana have been linked to improved physical and mental performance (Table 1.1). These may lead to a new generation of performance functional foods including these and other components such as creatine, caffeine, and tryptophan. Products in this area include beverages, chewing gum, and sports bars. One product that combines a range of functional claims is a fruit juice designed for the sports market containing carnitine, an amino acid to assist the body in producing energy and in lowering cholesterol, calcium to improve skeletal strength, and chromium picolinate to help build lean muscle mass.

1.9 The Functional Foods Market

The commercialization of functional food was first observed in Japan in the early 1980s. Market values of the functional foods vary enormously and depend on the category of functional food. Japan has been proven as a major player in the functional food market as it has 5% of functional food sales whose value are US$3-4 billion as reported previously [27]. However this proportion is decreasing as the European and US markets expand. In this context, Yakult Honsha (founded in 1955) played a significant role by developing products based on the probiotic lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus casei Shirota which are sold as a fermented milk drink in 65 mL bottles. The US market was worth about US$8 billion in 1997 with growth at around 5% per annum. Latest estimates indicate that the revenue is generated by the functional food market worldwide in 2017 and provides a forecast for 2022. The functional food market generated a global revenue of approximately US$ 299.32 billion by the end of 2017 and was projected to reach US$ 441.56 billion by 2022 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/252803/global-functional-food-sales/).

Due to the differing definitions there are specific difficulties in analyzing the development of the functional food market, resulting in strongly varying estimations concerning the market volume of such products. Based on a definition of functional food by which ingredients with an additional health value have been added to foods (and this is announced to the consumers), the global market of functional food is estimated to at least US$33 billion [28]. The most important and dynamic market represents the United States with an estimated market share of more than 50%. In the United States, the market is differentiated into functional food with specific health claims achieving a turnover of around US$0.5 billion and functional food without claims with an annual turnover of at least US$15 billion [29]. The findings indicate that extreme of global development including human development may initiate life expectancy above 80 years such as in Japan. The increased number of old people in high income countries, may cause decline in global development, particularly in global production of functional foods and other global amenities [30].

There are numerous factor which are promoting the growth of the functional food market. Current research is finding the linkage between diet and its effect on the prevention of chronic disease in elderly people in many developed countries. This is of enormous concern for this age group, as the elderly are more susceptible towards these chronic disease. Nowadays consumers are more health conscious and are looking for healthy and nutritious diet. Food technologies and industries are working to develop novel functional food and also adopting modification in the regulatory framework governing this sector.

1.10 Some Important Natural Functional Foods

There are certain foods which are quite rich in protective nutrients and poor in energy, which can be used in daily recipes to increase their consumption (Tables 1.1–1.4). These foods can also be incorporated into other food matrixes with moderate nutrient densities to make a healthy meal.

Table 1.2

Table 1.3

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