Preliminary Program

Document Sample
Preliminary Program Powered By Docstoc
					Abstracts of presentations: Functional Food Network
2nd General Meeting May 22-23, 2006 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany

Introduction to the Functional Food Network (F. Holm, FoodGroup Dk) : Page 2 Identification of novel bioactive food ingredients (activity-guided screening) (V. Somoza, German research for Food Chemistry,Garching, Germany): Page 3 Modern methods to assess beneficial effects of food components (B. L. Pool-Zobel, University of Jena, Germany): Page 4 Processing means to optimize product texture and biofunctionality (U. Kulozik, TUM, Germany): No abstract Antioxidants for health - a market overview (F. Holm, FoodGroup Dk): No abstract Lipids, the natural way to better health! (H. Zwier & A. Broek, Lipid Nutrition, Germany): Page 6 Development of functional beverages based on malted cereals and pseudocereals (S. Kreisz, TUM, Germany): Page 7 Enrichment of xanthohumol in beer: the Xan technology (S. Wunderlich, TUM Germany): Page 9

Analysis and evaluation of anthocyanins and isoflavones (S. Kulling, University of Potsdam): No abstract Berries and their components as raw material for functional foods (M Mokkilla, VTT, Finland): Page 10 Lignans as functional food ingredients - Any potential for breast cancer risk reduction?(N. Saarinen, University of Turku, Finland): Page11

Presentation of a Functional Food Network in Germany: Role of food components in the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases and possibilities of prevention by nutrition (D. Schrenk, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany): Page 12


Dietary phytochemicals and their potential and relevance for functional Food developments (G. Rechkemmer, TUM, Germany): Page 14

Role of food packaging and new packaging materials in functional food development (H.-C. Langowski, TUM, Germany): No abstract Regulatory issues on functional foods (P. Biacs, Hungary): Page 15

Antioxidants for health- A market overview
Finn Holm During this presentation the speaker will present and discuss the market for natural antioxidant extracts from many plant sources, e.g. tomatoes, grapes, berries, onions, tea, citrus fruits and vegetables, often claimed to give health benefits.

From a chemical point of view they belong to several classes, in particular carotenoids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, phenolic acids, stilbenes, terpenoids and many more. They have often a considerable antioxidant activity in vitro and some of the extracts have been shown invivo to influence bio-markers for chronic diseases, e.g. cardiovascular diseases, cancers, degenerative eye diseases, Alzheimer‟s disease and diabetes.

WHO has estimated that 90 % of incidences of diabetes, 80 % of cardiovascular diseases, and 30 % of cancers are preventable by a balanced diet and exercise and the dietary influence is often supposed to be due to fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants. Thus, a balanced diet with a high intake of fruit and vegetables and possibly also foods enriched by antioxidative plant food extracts may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and by that reduce the very large costs of treatment the diseases in Europe. Thus, the expenditure to losses and treatments of cardiovascular diseases are 180 billion € and the potential savings are 144 billion €.

The main biological mechanisms of the plant antioxidants are believed to be a reduction of the oxidative stress in serum, cells and tissues, reducing the chronically inflammatory diseases by influencing the expression of many genes and by preventing oxidative changes of many molecules, e.g. DNA, proteins / enzymes and lipids. 2

The scientific substantiation of the health influence of dietary antioxidants is in strong progress but a direct health claim is still not accepted by authorities at the main markets, Europe, USA, Australia and Japan.

The market size and the growth rate of antioxidants is considerable. It has been estimated to 2160 million € (2003) and many new products have been introduced. Products high in plant antioxidants are now mainstream and influence in particular the beverage and nutrition bar markets. New microencapsulation techniques may accelerate the spread to more product types but the scientific breaks through in substantiation of health claims are considered the most important.

Author‟s E-Mail address:

Identification of novelbioactive food ingredients by applying activity-guided screening techniques
PD Dr. Veronika Somoza Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Lebensmittelchemie, Lichtenbergstrasse 4, 85748 Garching; Phone 089/289-14170; Fax 089/289-13248; email:

Among the immediate challenges in the field of human nutrition are the scientific and technological developments, as well as the regulatory measures, for the so-called “functional foods” - those which can positively affect the health and well-being of consumers. The two key aspects in the evaluation of functional foods are safety and efficacy. Whereas safety can be regulated under various legislative umbrellas, such as novel foods, foods for particular nutritional purposes, supplements and additives, among others, the issue of evaluation of their efficacy is only at a relatively early stage, since the criteria to establish the validity of “health claims” have not been legally formalised at the European level. However, the identification of novel health beneficial food ingredients is of growing interest not only for researchers but also for food companies and consumers. In this work, several activity-guided screening techniques are presented as highly suitable tools for the identification of bioactive ingredients formed during heat treatment of foods. Maillard reaction products (MRPs) are some of the 3

predominant compounds which are formed non-enzymatically during heat treatment by the reaction of reducing carbohydrates with amino groups of amino acids or proteins. One of these MRPs, pronyl-lysine, has been identified in bread crust by applying in vitro antioxidant and chemoprevention assays to solvent fractions isolated from bread crust, crumb and flour. The same in vitro assays were applied to solvent fractionated and ultra-filtrated lyophilised coffee beverage. Polar coffee compounds with molecular weights below 1 kDa were demonstrated to show the major inhibitory effect on the in vitro peroxidation of linoleic acid and the predominant chemopreventive enzyme modulating activity on the NADPHcytochrome c-reductase and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) in human intestinal Caco-2 cells. By separating the polar compounds using HPLC techniques followed again by the activityguided screening, it was shown that 5-chlorogenic acid was the most powerful antioxidant, whereas the most pronounced chemopreventive effects on the GST activity was found for Nmethylpyridinium ions, the structure of which was elucidated by LC/MS and NMR experiments and confirmed by synthesis. The in vivo activity of bread crust, pronyl-lysine, coffee beverage and N-methylpyridinium ions was finally verified in a 15-day feeding experiment on rats. The results presented herein summarise the work identifying the two novel bioactive food ingredients, pronyl-lysine and N-Methylpyridinium ions, formed in bread crust and coffee during heat treatment. Authors E-Mail address:

Modern methods to assess beneficial effects of food components
B. L. Pool-Zobel, T. Hofmann, Y. Knöbel, N. Habermann, J. Sauer, D. Scharlau, S. Veeriah, M. Glei Institute for Nutrition, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany

Diet contributes to cancers of colon, breast and prostate by enhancing exposure to foodderived carcinogens and products of oxidative stress, which cause tumor initiation and progression. Protective ingredients of functional foods may be chemoprotective by enhancing the metabolic detoxification of the risk factors and in the long run will reduce exposure. To study these associations, we are using new methods to assess how food ingredients modulate gene expression in human colon cells and how this affects the genotoxicity of selected risk factors (comet-challenge assay). Functional foods are either extracted to isolate soluble compounds, or they are subjected to in vitro fermentation to simulate conversions occurring in 4

the gut lumen. Complex fermentation mixtures (e.g. containing butyrate, propionate, acetate), extracts (e.g. containing complex mixtures of polyphenols) and corresponding individual compounds are incubated with human cells and responses are determined using c-DNA microarrays, real-time PCR, western blot, and functional assays for enzyme activities. The chemoprotective consequences of this treatment are then verified by determining the genotoxicity of selected genotoxins in cells treated with the putatively protective compound. The parameters may also be measured in biological specimens (fecal water, peripheral lymphocytes, buccal cells, cells from biopsies) from subjects receiving the functional food during dietary intervention trials. We have shown that butyrate reduces the genotoxicity of 4hydroxynonenal in human colon cells, probably by enhancing expression of glutathione Stransferases (GSTs) [1], an enzyme system with high detoxification capacity [2]. Ex vivo studies have shown that dietary fibers, which enhance butyrate production [3], lead to a marked decrease of fecal water genotoxicity [4]. Apple polyphenols induce GSTT2 [5], thus explaining a decreased genotoxic activity of H2O2 in human colon cells (in preparation). Ex vivo, GSTP1 protein was induced and DNA damage was reduced in peripheral lymphocytes of human volunteers after ingestion of fruit juices containing different polyphenols [6;7]. If these types of effects are shown in vitro in cells in which tumors arise or in cells from early stages of preneoplasia, they reveal effective mechanisms of primary cancer prevention, namely the inhibition of tumor initiation or of early progression. Employed to the ex vivo analysis of fecal water, peripheral blood lymphocytes and colon biopsies, the measured parameters also serve as biomarkers for dietary intervention trials and for clinical studies.

Reference List

1. Ebert,M.N., Beyer-Sehlmeyer,G., Liegibel,U.M., Kautenburger,T., Becker,T.W., and Pool-Zobel,B.L. (2001) Butyrate-induces glutathione S-transferase in human colon cells and protects from genetic damage by 4-hydroxynonenal. Nutr Canc, 41, 156-164. 2. Pool-Zobel,B.L., Veeriah,S., and Böhmer,F.D. (2005) Modulation of xenobiotic metabolising enzymes by anticarcinogens - focus on glutathione S-transferases and their role as targets of dietary chemoprevention in colorectal carcinogenesis. Mutation Research, 591, 74-92.


3. Beyer-Sehlmeyer,G.,






Rowland,I.R., Schubert,R., Jahreis,G., and Pool-Zobel,B.L. (2003) Butyrate is only one of several growth inhibitors produced during gut flora-mediated fermentation of dietary fibre sources. Br J Nutr, 90, 1057-1070. 4. Glei,M., Habermann,N., Osswald,K., Seidel,C., Böhm,V., Persin,C., Jahreis,G., and Pool-Zobel,B.L. (2005) Assessment of DNA damage and its modulation by dietary and genetic factors in smokers using the comet assay: a biomarker model. Biomarkers, 10, 203-217. 5. Veeriah,S., Kautenburger,T., Habermann,N., Sauer,J., Dietrich,H., Will,F., and PoolZobel,B.L. (2006) Apple flavonoids inhibit growth of HT29 human colon cancer cells and modulate expression of genes involved in the biotransformation of xenobiotics. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 45, 164-174. 6. Pool-Zobel,B.L., Bub,A., Schröder,N., and Rechkemmer,G. (1999) Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants in vitro but do not reduce oxidative DNA damage within human colon cells. European Journal of Nutrition, 38, 227-234. 7. Hofmann,T., Liegibel,U.M., Winterhalter,P., Bub,A., Rechkemmer,G., and PoolZobel,B.L. (2006) A reduction of oxidised DNA bases in leucocytes after intervention with polyphenols-rich fruit juices is associated with the delayed elevation of glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) protein expression. under current revision.

Authors E-Mail address:

Lipids, the natural way to better health!
Henk Zwier

Given the enormous (media) attention towards the problem of obesity the title of this lecture „Lipids, the natural way to better health!‟ may appear challenging. Nutritional ingredients often develop through a stage process. In the first stage the ingredient is sold as a nutritional supplement through pharmacies, health shops etc. whereas in the last


phase the ingredient is sold in functional foods through supermarkets giving access to relatively high potential volumes. In this presentation three different fat-based nutritional ingredients are presented that are in the 3 developmental stages of ingredient development. The most well-known ingredient is omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid from fish oil. An overview is given of chemical, health and nutritional aspects as well as of commercial functional food applications. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is promoted as a body weight management ingredient as it is able to decrease body fat and to increase lean muscle weight. CLA is a newer, less developed ingredient than the LCPUFA‟s although the first functional food applications have emerged on the market. The results of a recent clinical study will be presented. PinnoThin™ is a new ingredient just recently introduced to the nutritional supplement market. PinnoThin is clinically shown to promote the production of two appetite controlling hormones Cholecystokinin (CCK) and Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1). Increased levels of these hormones stimulate a satiety feeling and thus should reduce appetite and food intake.

Authors E-Mail address:

Development of functional beverages based on malted cereals and pseudocereals
Dr. Stefan Kreisz Lehrstuhl für Technologie der Brauerei I The idea of functional foods was born in Japan. In the 1980s the concept of foods developed specifically to promote health or reduce the risk of disease was introduced. Functional foods have not yet been defined by legislation in Europe. Generally, they are considered as those foods which are intended to be consumed as part of the normal diet and that contain biologically active components which offer the potential of enhanced health or reduced risk of disease. As the market for functional food and drinks is still growing, interest in this category of foods has grown as well, new products have appeared and the focus has turned to the development of standards and guidelines for the development and promotion of such foods. This paper gives an overview on the potential of different malted cereals (e.g. barley, wheat, oat, rye, rice, sorghum and millet) and malted pseudocereals like buckwheat or quinoa as 7

substrate for fermented (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) beverages. The main focus was on developing a general strategy to evaluate the potential of any starch containing kernel for malting and beverage technology. Different malting and wort production procedures were designed on the one hand to deliver extract for fermentation and on the other hand to enrich bioactive substances like fibres, polyphenols and folates to produce drinks with a special health benefit. All malt, wort and substrate analysis were executed according to MEBAK or Analytica EBC. Special Analysis for bioactive substances where executed mostly with HPLC according to different references. Standard malting was performed according to MEBAK. The optimum conditions for maximum malt quality and/or enriched bioactive substances of any cereal or pseudocereal were determined using a design of experiments strategy termed response surface methodology. Therefore Design Expert (Version 6.0.10) Software from Stat-Ease was used to plan the experiment and to analyse the data. The experimental design was the same for all fruits. Approach and Results: Almost all standards, analysis and technological know-how in malting, wort production and fermentation are based on research and experience with barley and barley malt. Barley was selected a long time ago as brewing cereal and in the last 100 years intensive breeding efforts leaded to a highly specialized product. All other cereals or pseudocereals are not optimized for malt or substrate production. Therefore general requirements and properties of the raw materials had to be defined. The Germination capacity/energy, protein content, fat content and basic enzyme supply are essential parameters for the malting and substrate production process. Different varieties of the all cereals and pseudocereals have been tested and the most suitable for malting have been chosen. The malting procedure has been adapted to the needs of every cereal and the substrate production has been altered according to the individual enzymatic abilities. The resulting drinks have been evaluated after the fermentation by a taste panel. The results show that malting is a very good procedure to enrich functional components in cereals or pseudocereals and to provide enzymes to solubilize functional components for beverages. It was possible to enrich for example the Rutin content of Buckwheat up to eight times of the unmalted buckwheat. The paper will present the influence of the different characteristics of different cereals or pseudocereals on the beverage technology as well as the development of the functional components content. Author‟s E-Mail address: 8

Enrichment of xanthohumol in beer: the „Xan“-technology
Sascha Wunderlich Lehrstuhl für Technologie der Brauerei I, D-85354 TU München-Weihenstephan

More than 40 beer varieties exist on the German beer market. All of them are pure, valuable and salubrious, which is guaranteed by the German purity law. This law fixes four ingredients for beer – hop, malt, yeast and water. Nevertheless certain properties and components can be highlighted by variations of the brewing process. E.g. the xanthohumol, a hop polyphenol with many in vitro effects like cancer and diabetes prevention, antimicrobial and antiviral properties or antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects can be enriched. During a conventional brewing process xanthohumol is nearly completely eliminated - in first order by isomerisation to isoxanthohumol. In the “Xan”-technology this process is inhibited and xanthohumol is preserved during the brewing process. Main aspects of the “Xan”-technology are the use of selected malts – especially dark ones that act as carrier substances – a high gravity brewing and a fast cool down after a late hopping. So xanthohumol contents in beer above 10 mg/l are possible. Xanthohumol enriched beers show a high flavour and microbial stability and in first in vivo studies with rats at the German cancer research centre (DKFZ) in Heidelberg an xanthohumol enriched beer had significantly antioxidative effects.

Since the first presentation of cancer preventative effects of xanthohumol we worked on the development of a “Xan” beer and a non alcoholic xanthohumol containing beverage. In cooperation with the Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan and the base producer Döhler finally such products could be launched in 2004. The amber coloured Weihenstephaner “XanHefeweißbier” is characterised by a mixture of wheat beer properties and a special fine hop flavour. It contents 1.3 mg xanthohumol/l. The non alcoholic Weihenstephaner “XanWellness” is a mix of dealcoholised beer and fruit juice components with tastes of apple and acerola. Both products meet the increased consumer interest in foods with additional nutritional benefit and probably the general beer images so can be improved.

Authors E-Mail address:


Berries and their components as raw materials for functional foods
Mirja Mokkila & Kaisa Poutanen, VTT, Finland Mirja.

Interest in using berries and their components in food products has increased because of the growing awareness of their positive health effects. Berries are rich sources of bioactive compounds possessing interesting biological activities. They are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and especially wild berries are rich in various phenolic compounds and organic acids. Berries have the highest antioxidant activity of plant materials and beat fruits with respect to the nutritional value. Berry phytochemicals may have a role in prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and some cancers. Berries also are promoted for the maintenance of eye health, and their antimicrobial activity has attracted interest especially in terms of improving gut health (Puupponen-Pimiä et al 2002.2004, 2005).

Nutrition science has revealed the intrinsic health benefits of many food components and these have been turned into marketing messages. A good example of this is the cranberry juice, the sales of which has increased hundreds of percent since the link between cranberries and their ability to reduce the incidence of urinary tract infection was established, and a health claim was made available both in the US and in France. Another example is blueberry and its quickly increasing use in beverages, bars, dairy products etc.

Trends in healthy fruit and berry business seem to move from whole fruits to processed foods and convenience products such as fruit beverages. Companies that produce fruit juices and „pure‟ fruit drinks are enjoying a remarkable growth in their business. Subsequently the market for berry extracts and ingredients is increasing. There are numerous berry raw

materials and ingredients available for food manufactures: frozen berries, liquid purees and puree concentrates, single juices and juice concentrates, canned berries, different kinds of dried berries and powders, extracts etc. However, there still are challenges to develop new ingredients with technological characteristics suitable for different end use applications. Enzymatic pre-treatment of berries was shown effective in maintaining the structure of berries (Suutarinen 2002). In the case of berry extracts, also the formulation technologies, such as microencapsulation, are important to yield products with good stability and blending properties (Partanen et al 2005).


In the recently finished MAXFUN EU-project ( the aim was to develop new processing technologies for fruit and berry processing industry for maximal exploitation of the healthiness of the raw materials with concomitant improvement in the processability or minimisation of the waste formation. It was demonstrated that enzymes have pontential in changing the carbohydrate polymer structure, in increasing extractability and changing the levels of polyphenols in berry extracts (Buchert et al 2005, Hilz et al).

Buchert, J., Koponen, J.M., Suutarinen, M., Mustranta, A., Lille, M., Törrönen, R. & Poutanen, K. (2005) Effect of enzyme-aided pressing on anthocyanin yield and profiles in bilberry and black currant juices. J. Sci. Food Agric. 85 (15): 2548 – 2556 Hilz, H., Lille, M., Poutanen, K., Schols, H.A., Voragen, A.G.J., Combined enzymatic and high-pressure processing affect cell wall polysaccharides in berries, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54(4), 1322-1328 (2006).

Lignans as functional food ingredients – any potential for breast cancer risk reduction?
Niina M. Saarinen, Functional Foods Forum, University of Turku, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4A, FI-20520 Turku, Finland. E-mail:

Lignans are a large group of fiber-associated phenolic compounds widely distributed in plants. Flaxseed and sesame seed are the richest known dietary sources of plant lignans, but in European diet cereals, coffee, tea, fruits, berries, and vegetables are also important sources of lignans. Some of the ingested plant lignans are converted by intestinal microbiota to enterolignans (mammalian lignans) such as enterodiol and enterolactone (ENL) the latter of which has been thought to be the major biologically active lignan.

Consumption of fiber-rich diets has been linked with low risk of breast cancer. It has been suggested that this may be related to high intake of fiber-associated plant lignans converted to ENL. Experimental studies support the idea of lignans as anticarcinogenic agents. Diet containing lignan-rich plant components (e.g. flaxseed) or fortified with purified plant lignans or ENL has been shown to inhibit or delay the growth of experimental mammary cancer. 11

Accordingly, a recent intervention study among postmenopausal breast cancer patients suggested inhibitory effects of lignan-rich flaxseed on tumor growth. These findings on lignans and their putative role as breast cancer risk modulating agents have increased the interest among the public and industry in these compounds.

Several lignan-enriched products, as well as purified lignan compounds, are already on the market and the number is likely to increase. This emphasizes the importance to verify the safety and efficacy of the increased dietary consumption of lignans. For development of lignan containing functional foods for breast cancer risk reduction it is important to identify the target group of consumers who would benefit from the products and demonstrate the effects in this group by using validated biomarkers. Therefore, further identification and validation of relevant biomarkers, which can be used as indicators of breast cancer risk reduction at different stages of the disease, are of crucial importance.

Authors E-Mail address:

German apple and apple juice network: Role of food constituents in intestinal diseases – perspectives for their prevention by nutrition’

Dieter Schrenk Food Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany

The network (, established in 2002 and financed by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF, Berlin), has gathered nine research groups spread over Germany working in universities, federal and state institutions. The common focus of these working groups is to investigate how apple juice (AJ) and AJ constituents can affect the occurrence of widespread intestinal diseases common in Western countries primarily colo-rectal cancer and inflammatory diseases of the colon. The incidence of these diseases has been increasing over the last decades and environmental and lifestyle factors are thought to play an important role in their etiology. The network has decided to work on AJ since it is a non-alcoholic food item of plant origin which contains a spectrum of secondary plant constituents. Furthermore, AJ is an important non-alcoholic beverage in Germany with an average consumption of 12.8 l (p.c.) in 2004. 12

The colon has been selected as a target organ since food constituents are likely to come into close contact with the intestinal mucosa and may exert their beneficial effects there. In project 1 (University of Wuerzburg) the major constituents of AJ and AJ extract (AJE; after removal of sugars and major fruit acids) are identified, and purified for further testing. In project 2 (Research Institute Geisenheim) AJ and AJEs are prepared, and new products are designed which may have additional beneficial health effects. Project 3 (University of Karlsruhe) deals with the signalling pathways involved in differentiation, growth and apoptosis of colon tumor cells in vitro and their modulation by AJE and AJ constituents. In project 4 (University of Jena, University of Heidelberg) the effects of AJE and AJ constituents on gene expression including expression of enzymes of drug metabolism, cellular defence, and proliferation/apoptosis factors are investigated in in vitro systems. Furthermore, the project partners work on the validation and analysis of biomarkers of colorectal carcinogenesis in humans. In project 5 (University of Kaiserslautern), the role of AJE and its constituents on oxidative stress, oxidative DNA damage, and cellular defence are investigated. In project 6 (University of Kaiserslautern) rats are treated with proinflammatory agents and the effects of AJ on colon inflammation, and related expression of cytokines and other signal and marker proteins of inflammation are studied. Project 7 (German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg) deals with the analysis of the effects of AJ constituents on markers of drug metabolism and inflammation in cell cultures, and on the modulation of carcinogenesis-associated markers in ApcMin/+ mice bearing a defect in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. Project 8 (Federal Institute for Nutrition and Food, Karlsruhe) deals with the effects of AJ on the occurrence of cancer-associated early lesions in rat colon, and on the effects of obesity in rats on colorectal cancer risk and its modulation by AJ consumption. Finally, in project 9 (University of Munich, Weihenstephan) the relationship between diabetes type II and biomarkers associated with the risk of colo-rectal cancer and the effects of concomitant consumption of AJ are investigated in humans. Recent results from network partners have demonstrated that AJE and AJ constituents can suppress tumor cell growth and inflammation-related changes, affect various growth and differentiation-related pathways, and inhibit oxidative DNA damage in vitro. Furthermore, AJ, most notably cloudy AJ, had anti-inflammatory effects in rat colon, and suppressed the development of tumor-associated lesions in dimethylhydrazine-treated rats or ApcMin/+ mice. In humans it could be shown that, after drinking of AJ, a relevant percentage of major AJ polyphenols can reach the colon. Authors E-Mail address: 13

Dietary phytochemicals and their potential and relevance for functional food developments
G. Rechkemmer Chair of Biofunctionality of Food, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Germany

It is well established that a diet rich in plant-based foods is associated with a decreased risk of various nutrition-related diseases (e.g. obesity, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers). Besides the provision of established essential micro-nutrients (e.g. vitamins, trace elements) plant-based foods also contain a variety of bioactive non-nutrient substances, called phytochemicals or secondary plant metabolites. It is estimated that several 10.000 different chemical substances are present in plant foods (e.g. vegetables, fruit, whole-grain cereals). These phytochemicals can be grouped in different chemical classes, like carotenoids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, terpenes etc. The amount and presence of phytochemicals in plant foods is specific for the individual plant species and depends also on environmental conditions (sun-light exposure, temperature, water supply etc.) Most plants are characterized by the presence of high amounts of one phytochemical group, however, also contain other phytochemicals. The use of specific plant extracts thus usually differs in composition of phytochemicals in comparison to the original plant. The bioavailability of individual phytochemicals and even more the interaction between the various phytochemicals so far is largely unknown. Phytochemicals are associated with a number of physiological/biochemical effects, the most prominent being their antioxidant activity. Many phytochemicals in plants are produced to protect against oxidative damage and this activity may also be preserved after human consumption of the plant food. Oxidative damage is associated with a number of degenerative diseases and also with the ageing process. Thus a diet rich in phytochemicals may reduce the risk of these diseases and potentially could slow down ageing. However, the scientific basis for these activities at present is relatively weak and these potential activities have still to be established in humans. In experimental systems, like in cell cultures or in model organisms like worms (C. elegans) or mice some of the activities of phytochemicals have been demonstrated convincingly. The best evidence for the relevance of phytochemicals in the human diet, however, originates from epidemiological studies and from some prospective dietary intervention studies. If pure phytochemicals or plant extracts with high contents of specific phytochemicals are used as components of functional foods and if health claims are based on these phytochemicals then scientific studies have to be conducted in 14

accordance with criteria defined in the European project PASSCLAIM (Process for the Assessement of Scientific Support for Claims on Foods).

Author‟s E-Mail address:

Regulatory issues on functional foods
Prof. Dr. Peter A. BIACS President, Hungarian Scientific Society for the Food Industries (MÉTE)

Functional food is generally a health preserving food article. Regular consumption of a funkctional food can help us to avoid food related diseases by strenghtening our organism. In Hungary ca. 16% of the population is considered to select its daily food according health requirement. Basic components of functional foods are biogically active ingredients like vitamines, minerals, etc. Their accumulation in a living organism (microbe, plant, animal) is very different, according to soil conditions, climatic parameters, intensive or extensive breeding. Food industry is able to enrich food or feed by adding biologically active ingredients. Some of biologically active compounds are obtained from natural sources, whereas others are manufactured by the chemical industry. Dietary supplements are highly concentrated vitamine or mineral products in form of capsules, tablets, powders and liquid drops (similar to medicinal drogs). The matrix carriers of biologically active ingredients are purified substances obtained from food materials: lactose, starch, gelatine, etc. Daily consumption of functional food must be well regulated applying the recommended portions, dosages, like medical drugs. In Hungary a Heart Friendly Nubtrition ca paign has started in 1996 and first results are already seen in the decreasing trend of CVD mortality cases. The market of functional food is highly developed in Hungary having several food items enriched with biologically active substances. Agriculture is slowly moving to the directon of selecting plants and animals with high vitamine content or accumulation of minerals. Over-consumption of biologically active substances could cause risk both on healthy and on ill persons. For prevention of CVDthe consumption of functional food rich in dietary fibres, poor in fats and sodium (salt) is recommended. For cancer prevention usually 15

antioxidants and vitamines are used both in food matrix and/or in dietary supplements. To avoid osteoporesis a Calcium-rich nutrition is recommended. Consumers are informed in prevention functions by using labels which are indicating the higher concentration of biologically actives substances: rich in Calcium, contains multivitamines. Their function is described on the claim: Calcium is good for your bones, vitamines are beneficial for your health. Medical doctors are again to allow indicating the targete disease when a health claim is describing the desired effect of a functional food: you can prevent osteoporesis by regular consumption of Calcium, multivitamines are defending your organism from a microbial attack. International and regional (national) regulation of the use of functional food must consider scientific findings and respect clinical experiments. Harmonisation of the regulation at the Common Markt is essential and highly recommended for the Member States. . Author‟s E-Mail address: