Functional Foods: Can Food Technology Help in the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes?


Recently, the interest in functional foods is increased dramatically thanks to some scientific evidences demonstrating that, regardless of their nutritional value, some foods components beneficially influence several functions of the body, making them “functional” for the prevention and treatment of degenerative diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In particular, the marketplace offers conventional and modified functional foods which acting on intestine, glucose and lipid metabolism are potentially useful for diabetic patients. The field of functional foods, however, presents some criticalities. Up to now, only few functional foods have obtained the statement of a “Health Claim”, either because there are not sufficient scientific evidences based on human intervention studies, that justify a “Health Claim”, or because data are not consistent with the proposed claims. In addition, some functional foods show a low palatability and a lack of variety. Both these issues limit their ordinary intake. This critical aspect also involves the lack of a possible synergistic effect deriving from the contemporary consumption in the diet of different functional foods, as observed with some healthy dietary pattern. Functional foods represent, then, a challenge for the food industry, which needs to implement and/or develop innovative technologies able to create new foods with improved healthy properties, but also with better organoleptic properties suitable for a daily consumption.

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R. Giacco, B. Giulio, M. Vitale and R. Cozzolino, "Functional Foods: Can Food Technology Help in the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes?," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 827-837. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.48108.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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