Natural Ingredients & Functional Foods Industry Resources
Functional food or medicinal food is any healthy food claimed to have a health-promoting or disease-preventing property beyond the basic function of supplying nutrients The general category of functional foods includes processed or foods fortified with health-promoting additives, like "vitamin-enriched" products. Fermented foods with live cultures are considered as functional foods with probiotic benefits.
Functional foods are foods and food components that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Functional foods do more than just provide nutrients – they may play a role in reducing your risk of disease or in improving your health. These foods include health-promoting ingredients or natural components found in conventional, fortified, enriched or enhanced foods. There are many potential health benefits of consuming functional foods. Nutritional research has shown that eating functional foods on a regular basis, as part of a balanced and varied diet, can enhance health and reduce the risk of many acute and chronic diseases.
Functional foods can be found in your grocery store and you may already have some of them in your refrigerator and pantry! Examples of so-called functional foods include calcium-fortified orange juice and spreads with omega-3 added.
The functional food industry, consisting of food, beverage and supplement sectors, is one of the several areas of the food industry that is experiencing fast growth in recent years. It is estimated by BCC Research that the global market of functional food industry will reach 176.7 billion in 2013
The field of functional foods, however, is in its infancy. Additional research is necessary to substantiate the potential health benefits of those foods for which the diet-health relationships are not sufficiently scientifically validated.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates claims that manufacturers make about functional foods' nutrient content and effects on disease, health or body function. It's important to note, however, that the FDA doesn't use the term "functional foods." The FDA regulates these types of foods according to whether a food is considered to be a conventional food, a food additive, a dietary supplement, a medical food or a food for special dietary use.
Supply Side and Ingredient Industry:
According to the Natural Ingredient Resource Center the following is the Natural Ingredient Criteria.
Natural Ingredients include plant, animal, mineral or microbial ingredients...
- present in or produced by nature
- produced using minimal physical processing
- directly extracted using simple methods, simple chemical reactions or resulting from naturally occurring biological processes
Natural Ingredients Are...
- processed in an ecological manner.
- not produced synthetically.
- free of all petrochemicals.
- not extracted or processed using petrochemicals.
- not extracted or processed using anything other than natural ingredients as solvents.
- not exposed to irradiation.
- not genetically engineered & do not contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
- not contain synthetic ingredients.
- not contain artificial ingredients including colors or flavoring.
- not contain synthetic chemical preservatives.
As the functional foods, supply side and natural ingredient industry grows, so do the opportunities for a job or career in the these industries. Below are more resources to learn more.
- AACC Functional Foods Online
- American Botanical Council
- American Herbal Products Association
- American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
- American Nutraceutical Association
- Association For The Specialty Food Trade
- Center For Science in the Public Interest
- Citizens for Health
- Consumer Healthcare Products Association
- Council for Responsible Nutrition
- Dietary Supplements Education Alliance
- Institute of Food Technology
- International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplements Associations
- Natural Products Association
- Organic Consumers Organization
- Organic Trade Association
- Food Product Design
- Functional Foods Center
- Functional Ingredients Magazine
- Inside Comeceuticals
- Integrative Practitioner
- Natural Foods Merchandiser
- Natural Products Insider
- Nutraceuticals World
- Nutrition Capital Network
- Nutrition Industry Executive
- Nutritional Journal
- Nutritional Outlook
- Vitamin Retailer Magazine
Industry Trade Shows
- Green Business Conference
- Integrative Healthcare Symposium
- Natural Products Expo West
- Natural Products Expo East
- Natural Marketplace
- NBJ Summit
- NutraCosmetic Summit
- Supply Side East
- Supply Side West
Natural Products Industry Recruiters
- JWoods & Associates---Janet L. Woods
- Sanford Rose Associates
- Blake, Hansen & Schmidt, Limited
- Braun Resources
- Dash Advisors
- Ed Nallyey Executive Search Intl'l LLC
- Inner Circle Sales
- Resource Executive Search & Recruitment
- PrincetonOne - Kim Mayes