FFC’s Advancement of the Establishment of Functional Food Science
The Functional Food Center (FFC) has previously defined functional food as foods which have scientifically-proven benefits toward improving general health and ameliorating the effects of chronic diseases. Given this useful working definition of functional food, it’s now imperative to delineate and establish a field of functional food science. Currently, there are no published articles on what functional food science is. Defining functional food science is necessary so that a legitimate field can be established and recognized by the government as well as a global network of researchers and scientists. In this way, appropriate funding and advancements can be made, and functional foods can make their way towards significantly improving the lives of people in the United States and also around the world, as is the goal. As a result of this need, functional food science will be defined as the process of preparing functional foods as well as a field intersecting the realms of health and medical treatment. In this sense, functional food science not only deals with preparing functional foods but also with the efficacy of their health benefits. More specifically, as sciences are often defined by their processes, functional food science can be defined as the comprehensive, aggregate, interdisciplinary, and collaborative processes of: establishing a target and finding a bioactive compound that enables that effect, finding the correlated measurable biomarker, running testing to find proper dosage and effectiveness, performing clinical trials to ensure efficacy, creating the functional food with an informative label, releasing to market and running epidemiological studies to verify it. Although this understanding and definition is nascent, this can be a starting ground for the FDA and other governmental bodies, as well as the scientific and functional food community, to develop a robust, extrapolatable, and useful outline of functional food science. With an established field of functional food science, functional foods can be researched, produced, and made official and trustworthy, so that there can be large positive impacts on public health, both in disease prevention and in maintenance of good health.
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