Food Factoids: Functional Foods and Beverages
Packing a “Berry” Big Punch!
The acai fruit has found its way into a variety of drinks including smoothies, teas and juices, and has enabled manufactures to offer a health boost to consumers. As part of the latest trend in a growing food category, “functional foods,” foods with ingredients like acai provide some benefit outside of basic nutrition. Acai is a dark purple berry, native to Brazil, packed with fiber, phytochemicals and essential fatty acids.
Several juices made with acai are marketed as a food, which restricts the claims that can be made about their health benefits, but some manufacturers of similar high-concentration juices market them as dietary supplements. Foods and dietary supplements sold in the U.S. are subject to FDA regulations which control marketing, advertising and packaging claims. That is why it is so important to understand the differences between various claims and how to correctly apply them on nutrition label.
How America Functions
According to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), functional foods are fast becoming a part of everyday life in America. IFT reports that two-thirds of adults made an effort to buy more fortified foods last year — up 17 percent since 2005. In addition, one-third