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The term “Functional Food” was first used in Japan in 1980s where it is also called as Foods for Specified Health Use (FOSHU). However the use of this term is legitimate for any food that promotes human health beyond basic nutrition. Therefore the functional food category includes fortified food, enhanced food, enriched food, dietary supplements and health food. There is another term associated with Functional Food called as Nutraceuticals. Nutraceutical is defined as a product isolated from food generally sold in medicinal forms. But their effect on health and physiology has made it synonymous with functional food. However, according to Food and Drug Administration, USA, dietary supplements that are not recommended by medical practitioners are to be considered as functional food.
Major factors contributing to the growth of functional food are: complex lifestyle, quick fix tendency for health issues, lack of physical activities, rising healthcare costs, increasing health consciousness, having a preventive stance rather than reactive for health problems, ease of consumption and rise in ageing population.
Today almost every food consumed beyond conventional food comes under the category of functional food. It has its presence in almost every type of food that human being consume right form cereals, grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry products, sea food and confectionery items to non-alcoholic beverages.
The global functional food market revenue for the year 2013 was around $175 billion. With an annual average growth rate of about 15% the global market for functional food is forecast to exceed $230 billion by 2015. The energy drinks and healthy snacks are the fastest growing sectors in the functional food industry currently. We estimate that the sales revenue for healthy snacks in USA was about $30 billion for the year 2013. Energy drinks market share was largest for North American market at xx% in 2013 followed by European and Asia Pacific market.
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