Although the interest towards functional food has dramatically increased, several factors jeopardize their effective development. A univocally recognized definition and a dedicated regulation for this emerging food category is lacking, and a gap exists between the technological and the nutritional viewpoints. Involved actors speak different languages, thus impinging the progression towards an integrated approach for functional food development. A holistic approach to rationalize functional food development was here proposed, i.e., the “Functional Food Development Cycle”. First regulation and definitions were reviewed. The technological approaches for functional food design were then described, followed by the efficacy evaluation ones. Merging the technological and the evaluation viewpoints, by identifying the best compromise between quality and functionality, is pivotal to develop effective functional foods. Finally, delivering functional food on the market requires dedicated communication strategies. These in turn can provide information about consumer needs, thus representing an input for regulatory bodies to drive the development of functional food, feeding it within an iterative and virtuous holistic cycle.

Re-thinking functional food development through a holistic approach

Alongi M.
Primo
;
Anese M.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Although the interest towards functional food has dramatically increased, several factors jeopardize their effective development. A univocally recognized definition and a dedicated regulation for this emerging food category is lacking, and a gap exists between the technological and the nutritional viewpoints. Involved actors speak different languages, thus impinging the progression towards an integrated approach for functional food development. A holistic approach to rationalize functional food development was here proposed, i.e., the “Functional Food Development Cycle”. First regulation and definitions were reviewed. The technological approaches for functional food design were then described, followed by the efficacy evaluation ones. Merging the technological and the evaluation viewpoints, by identifying the best compromise between quality and functionality, is pivotal to develop effective functional foods. Finally, delivering functional food on the market requires dedicated communication strategies. These in turn can provide information about consumer needs, thus representing an input for regulatory bodies to drive the development of functional food, feeding it within an iterative and virtuous holistic cycle.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1210062
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