Functional foods classification system: exemplifying through analysis of bioactive compounds

Danik Martirosyan, Morgan Ekblad


The classification of functional foods based on their usefulness in the management of diseases and bodily conditions is currently absent from modern academia. Benefits from a system classifying functional foods by the amount of scholarly research performed on functional foods could be useful in managing diseases, informing the public, and legitimizing functional food as a consistent method for well-being promotion.The purpose of this study is to exemplify a previously proposed 16-step system by which functional foods may be ranked according to which studies have been conducted, highlighting their abilities. Listings would include common chronic diseases affecting first-world individuals; diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s/dementia. The proposed system would implement an alphanumeric code of ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’, depending on if foods have undergone epidemiological studies, clinical trials, and aftermarket research, only epidemiological and clinical studies, or have only been certified as a functional food. Current statistics discerning the prevalence of the listed chronic disease are utilized to contextualize the uniqueness of each bioactive compound and demonstrate the variance of effect by functional food products. Additionally, individual bioactive compounds are analyzed, denoting their efficacy in observable trials to better contextualize food function. From the proposed system, many prospective functional food products would not be eligible for classification by standards previously proposed in the 16-step plan. Taking into consideration current literature, the lack of standardized testing and optimal dosage leaves much to be desired in classifying functional food products. This study aims to exemplify a viable system by which functional foods can currently be analyzed and ranked based on empirical research studies. With suitable support from these studies, bioactive compounds and their subsequent food vehicles will be justly classified within an easy-to-recognize system. As the field of functional food grows, more factors to the analytical process may need to be applied, especially should the definition of functional foods categorize products in a way that aids the FDA’s system.

Keywords: Functional Food, Functional Food Classification, Bioactive Compounds, Classification of Bioactive Compounds, Aftermarket research

Full Text: [Abstract] [Full Article]

DOI: 10.31989/ffs.v2i4.919


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