Cereals pp 233-239 | Cite as

Functional Foods for Health

Opportunities for Novel Cereal Processes and Products
  • Peter J. Wood


The term “functional food” has been coined to describe a product which, as well as providing the normal attributes expected of food (basic sustenance and pleasing texture and flavour) also confers a specific health benefit or benefits. The terms “designer food” and “nutraceutical” are also used and highlight the fact that a population with a specific health problem might be targeted, much as with a pharmaceutical product. The underlying rationale for producing such foods is that many of the diseases of industrial, developed societies are life-style related, with diet playing a major role. The conditions take many years to develop and consequently prevalence increases with an ageing population. Once established, the illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer, are difficult or impossible to treat successfully. Dietrelated disease is therefore an enormous social and financial burden on society and diet modification has become a worthwhile goal for that society. Individuals, however, respond variously to advice on diet and it is notoriously difficult to obtain a response, even when acute health problems such as diabetes are present. Nevertheless, all surveys in North America suggest that nutrition does now play a role in consumer choice (Wrick 1993).


Wheat Bran Functional Food Health Claim Soluble Fibre Designer Food 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Food and Animal ResearchAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaOttawaCanada

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