‘Functional foods’ are foods that have some kind of nutritional benefit beyond that which they have naturally. These foods can make you feel better, look better, and live longer. Consumers around the world are embracing these ‘designer foods’ – the functional food market is one of the fastest-growing segments of the global food market.
Collaboration between science and business supports research into the functionality of foods to produce products and ingredients that help prevent and treat disease and promote good health.
New Zealand’s exceptional growing environment, natural biodiversity, innovation, and processing expertise make it an ideal place to develop and manufacture functional foods. Excellent demographics and a culture of early adoption of new technologies also make New Zealand a popular market in which to test and commercialise new products.
However, if we follow a healthy and balanced diet, are functional foods really necessary? Are our consumer choices being overly influenced by clever marketing campaigns?
Dr Roger Lentle, Associate Professor in Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, discusses the issues.
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This podcast was recorded on 7 August 2008.
Proudly Supported by GNS Science and the Royal Society of New Zealand, Wellington Branch.