It was mainly the advances in understanding the relationship between nutrition and health that resulted in the development of the concept of functional foods, which means a practical and new approach to achieve optimal health status by promoting the state of well-being and possibly reducing the risk of disease. Functional foods are found virtually in all food categories, however products are not homogeneously scattered over all segments of the growing market. The development and commerce of these products is rather complex, expensive and risky, as special requirements should be answered. Besides potential technological obstacles, legislative aspects, as well as consumer demands need to be taken into consideration when developing functional food. In particular, consumer acceptance has been recognized as a key factor to successfully negotiate market opportunities. This paper offers a brief overview of the current functional food market situation in USA, Japan and some European countries completed with some comments on functional food future potential. It explores the main challenges of such product development focusing on the different factors determining the acceptance of functional food. Furthermore it discusses some prominent types of these food products currently on the market.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nutrition and Dietetics