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 It is axiomatic that adequate supplies of good quality food is beneficial to health. Conversely, it has long been recognized that populations suffering from malnutrition, are more susceptible to various diseases and have poor health. However, the concept of functional foods, as foods that offer some health-associated advantage over conventional foodstuffs, is a relatively recent innovation into the human nutrition market. The advantages offered by functional foods are generally related to disease avoidance and health maintenance rather than to therapeutic effects of foods. Functional foods are defined as formulated food products that are developed with pre-determined and specific beneficial results to be accomplished by its consumption. They are defined by the Institute of Medicine in Washington, U.S.A, as those foods that encompass potentially healthful products including any modified food or ingredient that may provide a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrients it contains. Furthermore, they are health products whose primary use is for consumption as part of a usual diet and which are found in a form that is readily recognizable to the consumer as being a food product. Functional foods, however, have health benefits associated with them. In addition to providing nutritional information, functional foods would be permitted to make structure/function, risk reduction and treatment claims. Functional foods can include foods like cereals, breads, and beverages which are fortified with vitamins, herbs, or nutraceuticals. Functional foods must offer some advantage related to disease avoidance and health maintenance. They have been implicated in alleviating the risk of a whole range of non-infectious diseases and have an impact upon immune status and viral mutation. There are now functional foods targeted at skin, gut, heart, joint, eye, and cognitive or mental health. Most functional foods are vehicles to deliver some particular bioactive components or nutricines (Adams, 1999) in the food which have a beneficial effect upon health. Many nutricines are of plant origin and currently, the vast majority of functional foods are based on molecules of plant origin (Amado et.al., 2002). These include carotenoids, flavonoids, non-digestible oligosaccharides, organic acids, phospholipids, and polyphenols. Functional foods of animal origin are not so prominent as animal products do not contain the enormous range of secondary metabolites characteristic of plants. However, foods of animal origin do have several useful nutricines such as lutein in eggs, various carotenoids and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in milk. Other valuable nutricines in animal source foods are collagen, chondroitin, taurine, selenium, butyric and lactic acids. A further advantage of animal source foods, particularly meat, is the high content and bioavailability of micronutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamin A from meat and vitamin B12, riboflavin and calcium from milk. The growing importance of functional foods can be attributed to the changing trends in consumer diets towards healthier foods, such as soy-based products, low-fat meals and vitamin-enriched energy bars. The growing proportion of ageing populations – which leads to rising health care costs, obesity problems, and an increasing awareness of healthier lifestyles – is the prime reason driving this change. Vegetables, fruits and nuts are rich in phenols, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, phytosterols, and phytic acid – essential bioactive compounds providing health benefits. The polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish effectively regulate haemostatic factors, protect against cardiac arrhythmias, cancer and hypertension, and play a vital role in the maintenance of neural functions and the prevention of certain psychiatric disorders. The ingredients responsible for this benefit can be naturally present or may have been added during processing. The levels of nutrients in foods can be increased beyond their natural levels to create a fortified product. Some examples of functional food ingredients and their sources are as follows: alpha – carotene found in carrots, beta – carotene found in fruits and vegetables, lutein found in green vegetables, flavones found in fruits and vegetables, sulphoraphane found in cruciferous vegetables, among others. Therefore, production of functional foods from vegetables locally available in Nigeria will contribute to the current development in this field.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages70 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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