Functional foods: technical, institutional and market innovation
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Linking food and natural ingredients to health impacts is, of course, not novel. For centuries, experiential knowledge distilled and passed on from one generation to the next has pointed to such linkages, often with success. Scientific discoveries, however, significantly improve on traditional experiential knowledge development. Structured scientific methods increase the rate of new knowledge accumulation and improve its accuracy. Furthermore, scientific discoveries focus on the bioactive molecular components of food rather than on whole foods. In this way, the content of important bioactive ingredients (or vitalins as Burn and Kishore propose) may be increased, decreased or stabilized for improved "functionality" and health impacts.
AgBioForum 3(1) 2000: 1-2.