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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308043

Title: Functional food productions: release the potential of bioactive compounds through food processing

item Liu, Sean

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/18/2014
Publication Date: 11/19/2014
Citation: Liu, S.X. 2014. Functional food productions: release the potential of bioactive compounds through food processing [abstract]. International Conference of FFC-International Symposium of ASFFBC.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Epidemiological studies of bioactive compounds from plant-based foods have consistently pointed to undisputed benefits of consumption of plant-based foods on human health particularly regarding cardiovascular diseases and cancers. However, in order to attain the dosage required from these studies, people have to consume copious amount of vegetables and fruits and other plant materials due to low concentrations of healthful bioactive compounds, which is almost impossible for an average person on a western diet. Furthermore, some of these health-promoting compounds are not immediately biologically available if the plant materials are consumed without substantial processing or treatment. Food processing, if carried out with enhancing human health beyond basic nutrition in mind, will transform bioactive compound-containing plant foods into bioactive compound-rich functional foods. To overview the advancement of functional food research and development and examine the hurdles and opportunities of developing functional foods for average “Joe” and “Jane.” There are a number of food processing technologies available for functional food productions: mechanical, thermal, enzymatic, fermentation by microorganism or combination of above technologies. The choices of these technologies in a particular functional food depend on their abilities to concentrate the targeted bioactive compounds without affecting its bio-availabilities, inhibit any interfering components in food materials being processed, develop favorable physiochemical functionalities that are important in food production, and ensure consumers’ acceptance. Many processes of functional food production have been successfully developed to develop functional ingradients and fractions used for functional food production. We have used a number of food processing technologies to develop functional food ingradients that resulted in commercialization. For example, Trim-line of beta glucan rich food ingradients have been produced commercially and used in food product development. In all these developments, several processing technologies were employed such as milling, air classification, extrusion, acid/alkaline hydrolysis, enzymatic treatment, and steam jet cooking. There are many opportunities (more feedstock from uncommon plant materials) and obstacles (consumer acceptance and regulatory hurdles) of expanding functional food products and making these products appeal to consumers. Foods (ingredients and end products) are highly regulated by FDA (and in some cases USDA). Purified bioactive compounds extracted from plant sources, even from food sources cannot be assumed approval by FDA. Furthermore, the effectiveness of this purified “chemicals” is questionable as more evidence points on the synergistic effect between bioactive compounds and food matrices where they reside. Processing of food materials enables to develop bioactive compound enriched functional food ingradients in more or less native food matrices for uses in developing functional foods for consumers.