Economic implications of functional foods


  • Anush Baghdasaryan
  • Danik Martirosyan



Functional food products (FFPs) and their constituents, known as food bioactive compounds (FBCs), possess distinctive properties that may mitigate the risk of specific diseases, offering a potential alternative to conventional medicine. Fruits and vegetables contain specific components such as vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and others, which play a role in managing symptoms of chronic diseases. This review explores the impact of functional food products on the economy. The rising costs associated with Western medical treatments for chronic diseases, exacerbated by the side effects of medication, stresses the importance of exploring non-medical alternatives. Furthermore, the absence of a definitive definition for functional food products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adds to the weakness of the food sector in the United States. On the other hand, Japan has initiated a regulatory system known as Food for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU), which introduces functional foods to the market and educates consumers on their health benefits. Subsequently, they have also introduced a new regulatory system called Foods with Functional Claims. Despite limitations such as the insufficiency of post-market research, clinical studies, and epidemiological studies in both systems, Japan continues to outperform the U.S. in the food industry. Establishing its own regulatory system for functional foods could not only enable the FDA to compete more effectively with Japan but also lead to significant improvements in life expectancy and the economy. By examining regulations in both countries, this review sheds light on how functional food products may contribute to improved public health and economic outcomes.

Keywords: Functional Food Products, Food Bioactive Compounds, Food and Drug Administration, Food for Specified Health Uses, Foods with Functional Claims, Economy





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