Functional ingredients – from fiction to facts

Food habits have greatly evolved in recent decades. In addition to aspects such as taste, quality, safety, and convenience, consumers now also expect processed food to be nutritious and sustainable. Factors such as our ageing population; growing levels of obesity and type II diabetes; and increased occurrence of cardiovascular diseases have urged consumers to seek, beyond nutritional requirements, health-promoting benefits in the food they consume. Interest in these so-called functional foods has thus drastically increased in recent years.