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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16 Suppl 1:65-73.

Innovations in food technology for health.

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Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, 420 Sandels Building, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1493, USA.


Modern nutritional science is providing ever more information on the functions and mechanisms of specific food components in health promotion and/or disease prevention. In response to demands from increasingly health conscious consumers, the global trend is for food industries to translate nutritional information into consumer reality by developing food products that provide not only superior sensory appeal but also nutritional and health benefits. Today's busy life styles are also driving the development of healthy convenience foods. Recent innovations in food technologies have led to the use of many traditional technologies, such as fermentation, extraction, encapsulation, fat replacement, and enzyme technology, to produce new health food ingredients, reduce or remove undesirable food components, add specific nutrient or functional ingredients, modify food compositions, mask undesirable flavors or stabilize ingredients. Modern biotechnology has even revolutionized the way foods are created. Recent discoveries in gene science are making it possible to manipulate the components in natural foods. In combination with biofermentation, desirable natural compounds can now be produced in large amounts at a low cost and with little environmental impact. Nanotechnology is also beginning to find potential applications in the area of food and agriculture. Although the use of new technologies in the production of health foods is often a cause for concern, the possibility that innovative food technology will allow us to produce a wide variety of food with enhanced flavor and texture, while at the same time conferring multiple health benefits on the consumer, is very exciting.

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