Functional foods are foods which contain bioactive components, either from plant or animal sources, which can have health benefits for the consumer over and above their nutritional value.
Foods which have antioxidant or cancer-combating components are in high demand from health conscious consumers: much has been made of the health-giving qualities of fruits and vegetables in particular.
Conversely, foods which have been processed are suffering an image crisis, with many consumers indiscriminately assuming that any kind of processing robs food of its natural goodness .
To date, there has been little examination of the actual effects whether positive or negative of various types of food processing upon functional foods.
This book highlights the effects of food processing on the active ingredients of a wide range of functional food materials, with a particular focus on foods of Asian origin.
Asian foods, particularly herbs, are becoming increasingly accepted and demanded globally, with many Western consumers starting to recognize and seek out their health-giving properties. This book focuses on the extraction of ingredients which from materials which in the West are seen as alternative - such as flour from soybeans instead of wheat, or bran and starch from rice but which have long histories in Asian cultures.
It also highlight the incorporation of those bioactive compounds in foods and the enhancement of their bioavailability.
Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements: Processing Effects and Health Benefits will be required reading for those working in companies, research institutions and universities that are active in the areas of food processing and agri-food environment.
Food scientists and engineers will value the new data and research findings contained in the book, while environmentalists, food regulatory agencies and other food industry personnel involved in functional food production or development will find it a very useful source of information.