• Provide benefits beyond basic nutrition and  play a role in reducing or minimizing the risk of certain diseases and other health conditions.
  • Japan has led the world in this area. In 1991, the concept of Foods for Specified Health Use (FOSHU) was established. Foods identified as FOSHU must be approved by the Minister of Health and Welfare.
  • The research focus has shifted more to the identification of biologically active components in foods that have the potential to optimize physical and mental well being and which may also reduce the risk of disease.
  • In the USA, “reduction of risk of disease” claims have been permitted since 1993 for certain foods. Many traditional food products including fruits, vegetables, soya, whole grains and milk have been found to contain components with potential health benefits.
  • There is much greater recognition today that people can help themselves and their families to reduce the risk of illness and disease and to maintain their state of health and well being through a healthy lifestyle, including the diet.