OBJECTIVES OF THE NUTRACEUTICAL/FUNCTIONAL FOODS PROGRAM:
- Various types of equipment to handle raw materials - Cleaners, crackers, flakers, cookers .etc.
- Solvent extraction systems - Batch and continuous
- Aqueous extraction facilities
- Concentration and purification systems
NUTRACEUTICALS AND FUNCTIONAL FOODS
Nutraceuticals can be defined as natural products that are used to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake of important nutrients. This definition includes nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, antioxidants, amino acids, and protein supplements. Nutraceutical products fit into the newly created product category of "Dietary Supplements" as established by the F.D.A. in the Dietary Supplement Act of 1994. This act specifically defined dietary supplements to include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, antioxidants, amino acids, or other dietary substances used to supplement the diet by increasing the total dairy intake.
Nutraceuticals derived from botanical preparations are as crude forms, powders or extracts. A new surge of beverages made with herbal products and other natural ingredients are quickly capturing the attention of mainstream consumers.
The nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, functional and medical foods have received considerable interest because of their presumed safety and potential nutritional and therapeutic effects. During the past three years more than 1,000 scientific papers have been published alone on a group of phytoceuticals from soybeans. Within just the past few years almost all of the food related publications published articles on nutraceuticals. As the market grows with new Nutraceutical offerings almost daily, pressure is mounting for food processing companies to learn more about the processing side of these new products for different uses.
Consumers have been hearing about the health benefits of various antioxidants for decades. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and beta-carotene are well known and widely available in a variety of food products and dietary supplements. Recent research has demonstrated that many phytoceuticals have antioxidant properties that have potential to generate new market opportunities.
The market value of these products is speculated to be between $180 million to $80 billion. Whatever the actual real market value is, the Nutraceutical market is poised for unprecedented growth as the public becomes aware of their health benefits. For now, Nutraceutical is the hottest buzzword in the food industry. As consumer demand booms for these products, the potential for bigger profit margins entices food companies.
The Food Protein Research and Development Center is specialized in various aspects of Nutraceutical/Functional Foods processing including raw material handling, extraction, and separation/purification. In addition the center works with various internationally well known consultants on product development, standardization, product stability, and regulatory issues.