Top 10 functional food trends of 201224 April 2012
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in America has identified its top 10 functional foods trends for 2012.
According to Elizabeth Sloan, contributing editor of IFT's Food Technology magazine, the leading trend for 2012 is a move toward ‘real food nutrition’ which includes blending different foods for maximum health benefits, choosing foods for their inherent nutritional value (such as nuts or fruits) and integrating whole food supplements such as coconut milk into the diet, rather than supplementing with a vitamin.
Top 10 functional food trends
More people are making an effort to serve meals that are naturally higher in vitamins and nutrition.
At the same time, vitamin and supplement users report cutting back significantly on their use for three reasons: a belief that the quality and benefits of nutrition in foods is best; pervasive doubts about the bioavailability of even the highest quality supplements; and concerns about the long-term effects on the digestive system
Dr. Sloan noted that consumers believe that vitamins and minerals are more beneficial when they are consumed in food. Other trends for 2012 include:
Rather than making drastic dietary changes, consumers are still buying the same staples, such as bread and pasta, but they are seeking healthier versions of those products such as whole grain bread. Another study found that for the first time, shoppers are now considering whether a product has artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup when evaluating its nutritional value.
Dr. Sloan noted that consumers increasingly believe nutrition plays a key role in maintaining health and staving off serious diseases, and they will seek products that help them get important nutrients.
According to one study 55 per cent of consumers believe calcium is very effective for bone health; 55 per cent believe fibre is very effective against colon cancer; and 38 per cent believe omega vitamins are very effective for heart health
In cases where consumers take a dietary supplement, magnesium is the fastest-growing mineral (up 25 per cent in 2011). In addition, supplements that promote healthy vision are surging in popularity.
4. Protein power
5. Plant based
6. Gourmet nutrition
7. The new risks (stroke, heart attack prevention)
8. First aid (relief from sore throat, constipation, sleeplessness)
9. Kids, dads and grannies (appealing to these groups)
The full article about the top functional food trends will be in the April 2012 issue of Food Technology magazine: www.ift.org/food-technology.aspx
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