Home » ABST Home » APPLIED BIO-SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY – VOL. 2, NO. 1, (2022) » VOL. 2, NO. 1, (2022) : ARTICLE 2

VOL. 2, NO. 1, (2022) : ARTICLE 2

Recent Trends in Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals as Health-Promotive Measures: A Review

Uthpala Bulathgama, Nilantha Lakshman and Vajira. P. Bulugahapitiya


Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have become a major health concern worldwide. The global death percentage caused by NCDs is reported to be 70% of the total deaths. Currently, there is a significant concern about herbal applications in improving people’s lifestyles to mitigate the risk of NCDs, and food product development with an herbal context is considered more impactful. Plant/herbal materials have been used in traditional medicine since ancient times due to the nutraceutical properties of secondary plant metabolites. These are known to exert several health-promoting effects such as antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-lipidemic, anti-hyperglycemic, etc. properties. Therefore, modern society is concerned more about adopting to pharmaceuticals and diet interventions of natural-origin to mitigate health conditions associated with NCDs. Those interventions are, in most cases, termed functional foods and/or nutraceuticals. Thus, a substantial global market opportunity has been relieved for herbal functional foods and nutraceuticals, recently. Therefore, this paper provides a narrative review on the global burden caused by the NCDs, and the deviation of consumer trends towards more natural and herbal oriented functional foods in overcoming those risks. Furthermore, such trends are predicted to rise drastically in upcoming years in the regions around the globe with significant generation of revenue. This review further elaborates on pharmacological and health benefits of herbal materials that could be used in developing functional foods and/or nutraceuticals. In addition, current and prospective functional foods and nutraceuticals that have been developed with herbal origins in recent research across the globe are presented here with their respective health-promoting effects. The food categories currently being developed into functional foods are mostly being, but not limited to, functional beverages, functional teas, functional snacks/starchy foods, and functional confectioneries. The physiological benefits expected by these functional foods and nutraceuticals include, prevention of hyperglycaemia, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancers, hypercholesterolemia, etc. This review would provide a brief but informative background for future researchers, who would carry out research on New Product Development (NPD) on functional foods and nutraceuticals of herbal origin.

Keywords: Functional Foods, Herbal, Non-Communicable Diseases, Nutraceuticals