Interactive Summaries

Chapter 3: Complementary Nutrition: Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements

Food Additives

Food additives work in many ways to give us safe, plentiful, varied, and relatively inexpensive food. Food additives are use for many reasons; these include improving product quality, maintaining freshness and . Food additives can either be direct or indirect. are added to food for a specific reason. are substances that unintentionally become part of the food in trace amounts. The decides whether to approve the additive and determines that types of foods that may contain the additive, the quantities that can be used, and the way the substance will be identified on labels. refers to substances that are generally recognized as safe for consumption and can be added to foods by manufacturers without establishing their safety by rigorous experimental studies. A color additive is any dye, pigment or substance that can give color when added to a food, drug or cosmetic or to the human body. Food additives cannot be approved if they cause cancer in humans or animals. This provision of the law is often referred to as the .

Functional Foods

A is widely considered a food that may provide health beyond basic nutrition. Functional foods get their health-promoting properties from naturally occurring compounds that are not considered nutritious but are called . A vitamin is a food substance essential for health. Phytochemicals, in contrast, are substances in plants that may protect our good health, even though they . Phytochemicals include thousands of compounds, pigments and natural antioxidants, many of which are associated with protection from heart disease, hypertension, cancer and . Phytochemicals work to prevent cancer by neutralizing and by modifying the way hormones affect the body. Free radicals are continually produced in our cells and over time can result in damage to and other important cell structures.


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