Editorials

Functional foods

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39212.592477.BE (Published 17 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1015
  1. Tim Lang, professor of food policy
  1. Centre for Food Policy, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB
  1. t.lang{at}city.ac.uk

    Their long term impact and marketing need to be monitored

    Functional foods, also known as “nutraceuticals” or “designer foods” are foods containing supplements that are intended to improve health, and they are slowly emerging on supermarket shelves worldwide. The market is divided into two main categories. Firstly, breakfast cereals fortified with fibre and sometimes vitamins and, secondly, dairy or yoghurt drinks and yoghurts with probiotic bacteria. Manufacturers of foods, soft drinks, and drugs have invested heavily in this sector to create a market that aims to cover 5% of the value of food sales worldwide.1 By 2005, global sales were an estimated $73.5bn (£36.9bn; €54.3bn) and, although slowing, still on target to reach $167bn after 2010.2 In this week's BMJ, de Jong and colleagues3 discuss various aspects of …

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