Functional foods, health, nutrition and Health Claims and Novel Foods
Functional foods are those that, in addition to providing a nutritional value, contain biologically active components that are beneficial for health or reduce the risk of suffering from illness.
Certain foods, as well as some of its components, have beneficial effects on health and wellbeing, beyond what has traditionally been considered as nutrition. Functional foods include those that contain certain minerals, vitamins, fatty acids or food fiber, foods that have been added biologically active substances, such as phytochemicals or other antioxidants, and certain probiotics, which consist of beneficial living microorganisms.
The market current demands and the new European legal framework (Regulation 1924/2006) require that the communication of the benefits of ingredients and functional foods be supported by scientific evidence. The food industry can only use this information on labels and advertising if this health benefit has been recognized by the EC with a previous report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The UIB has an expert scientific and technical research group in the design and evaluation of new foods / ingredients as well as in advising on the elaboration of official reports on the request for the approval of nutrition and health claims of food products to be presented to EFSA.
Novel Foods are those that have not previously been consumed significantly in the European Union or that are intended for use not previously experienced in the EU (for example, a supplement that wants to be used as an ingredient in a yogurt). In order to be able to enter the European market, they must be evaluated in terms of safety and nutritional adequacy.
A group of researchers from the UIB have participated in the evaluation or scientific-technical advice of most of the new foods that have been accepted for commercialization in the EU.