The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

What are dairy-based functional foods?

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Functional foods contain biologically active components that provide specific health benefits, over and above their nutritional value. Milk and dairy are classified as functional foods because of the distinct functions of their bioactive peptides.

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So-called functional foods contain fairly high levels of biologically active components and generally provide specific health benefits in addition to their nutritional value. Commercially produced functional foods are an emerging food category. Generally these foods can provide additional health benefits upon addition or concentration of a beneficial ingredient, or removing or substituting a harmful ingredient.

Milk and dairy are classified as functional foods because of the distinct functions of their bioactive peptides. Dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and spreads are often used as carriers for functional ingredients.

In South Africa, functional food products have to be approved according to the regulations of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (DAFF) before any health claims can be made.

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