Functional Foods Manufacturer
GFR Pharma’s technologies and capabilities can help you enter the fast-growing functional foods market. Functional products can command premium prices as consumers become more health-conscious and actively seek out foods with extra benefits.
Functional Food Definition
A functional food is a food providing an additional health function through the addition of new ingredients or additional quantities of existing ingredients.
While there is no legal definition for a functional food, some common distinctives are that it appears in food form, it is intended to be consumed as part of one’s usual diet, and that some of the ingredients provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition.
In the past, governments have regulated the fortification and enrichment of foods to prevent nutrient deficiencies that could cause diseases. Now companies are moving past disease prevention and are trying to optimize health with products that have a proven functional benefit.
Formulating Functional Foods
Making a functional food is not as easy as simply adding a new ingredient to an existing food product. Our team of experienced formulators work to make sure the product retains the same taste and texture profiles that consumers are used to. Great-tasting functional foods can encourage consumer compliance by delivering nutrients in a more palatable and easy-to-take form than traditional supplement forms.
Formulators must ensure that the additional ingredients retain their nutritional value when mixed with other ingredients. Each ingredient’s pH level, solubility, bioavailability and stability must be considered.
Functional foods may take many forms including powders, liquids or unique forms like seed mixes. Liquids are popular because they are good carriers of functional ingredients but in order to ensure a shelf-stable liquid, certain ingredients must be suspended.
Common Functional Food Additions and Their Health Benefits
Consumers are aware that nutrition plays a role in physical energy levels, mental clarity, weight control, and proper growth and development. They also see the need for ingredients that support heart, bone, eye, immune and digestive health.
|Commonly Added Ingredients||Potential Functional Benefits|
|Fatty Acids (Omega 3, Monosaturated & Polyunsaturated fatty acids, DHA, EPA & CLA)||Brain, Eye, Heart & Immune Health. Cognitive Development|
|Antioxidants||Preventing Free Radical Damage|
|Prebiotics & Probiotics||Digestive & Immune Health. Gastrointestinal Benefits|
|Fibers||Digestive Health. Supports Maintenance Of Healthy Blood Glucose Levels|
|Plant Stanols/ Sterols||Heart Health. Reducing Cholesterol|
|Minerals||Numerous Including Bone, Prostate, Immune & Heart Health|
|Vitamins||Numerous Including Eye, Immune, Brain, & Bone Health|
|Herbs||Varied Health Benefits|
|Carotenoids||Eye & Prostate Health. Neutralizes Free Radicals|
|Flavonoids||Heart, Urinary Tract & Brain Health, Neutralizes Free Radicals|
|Phytoestrogens||Bone, Immune, & Brain Health. Supports Menopausal Health For Women|
*This list is not intended to be all-inclusive.
*Specific health claims must be evaluated on an individual basis.
The functional food market is already a multi-billion dollar industry and is rapidly growing at more than 10% annually. Consumers are driven by benefits and must see the benefits as credible, that the product is relevant to their lifestyle, tastes great and is convenient.
Functional Food Regulations
GFR Pharma can guide you to using ingredients and forms that fit within the food regulatory streams within Canada, the United States and other countries. Canadian functional foods are regulated by Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). American functional foods are regulated under the FDA regulations for conventional foods, food additives, and dietary supplements.
When designing labels for functional foods, one must be careful when making health claims to ensure that they don’t cross the line into a therapeutic claim. Specific ingredients have pre-approved claims based on scientific studies that can be included on the labels.
Functional Food Packaging Options
Once produced, functional foods can be packaged into bottles and pouches as well as individually packaged in small pouches and stick packs.
Health-conscious consumers are willing to invest in their food choices and partnering with GFR Pharma as your functional foods manufacturer can help you enter this competitive and growing market.