Instruction for The Journal of Functional Foods in Health and Disease (FFHD) authors

Submission process: Manuscripts must be submitted by one of the manuscript authors, and should not be submitted by anyone on their behalf. The submitting author takes responsibility for the article during submission and peer review. 

To facilitate rapid publication and minimize administrative costs, Functional Foods in Health and Disease accepts only electronic submission. Files can be submitted as a batch or separately. Manuscripts must be submitted as E-mail attachments to the Editorial office at:  

Please provide a cover letter that explains why your manuscript should be published in the journal, and elaborate on any issues related to our editorial policies detailed in the instructions for authors. Assistance for manuscript preparation and submission is available from the customer support team:

Please see our sample article for reviews and research.  Also include the email addresses of all co-authors in the section Author's Contributions.  This is mandatory and for our records only; it will not be published in the final version.

Publication and peer review processes: Functional Foods in Health and Disease uses online peer reviews to speed up the publication process. The time taken to reach a final decision depends on whether reviewers request revisions, and how quickly authors are able to respond.

The ultimate responsibility for any decision lies with the Editor(s)-in-Chief, to whom any appeals against rejection should be addressed.

Article-processing charges: Functional Foods in Health and Disease levies an article-processing charge for every accepted article, to cover the costs incurred by open access publication. In 2012, the article-processing charge was $495. Once an article has been accepted and sent back to the author, he/she must make the proper payment within 7 calendar days. Discounts and waivers may be granted, particularly for authors from developing countries, but should be discussed at the same time the full article is submitted.

Editorial policies: Any manuscripts or substantial parts submitted to the journal must not be under consideration by any other journal. In general, the manuscript should not have already been published in any journal or other citable form, although it may have been deposited on a preprint server. The journal is willing to consider peer-reviewing manuscripts that are translations of articles originally published in another language. In this case, the original publisher must give consent and the fact that the article has already been published must be made clear on submission and stated in the abstract. Authors are required to ensure that no material submitted as part of a manuscript infringes existing copyrights or the rights of a third party. Authors who publish in Functional Foods in Health and Disease retain copyright to their work. Correspondence concerning articles published in Functional Foods in Health and Disease is encouraged.

Submission of a manuscript to Functional Foods in Health and Disease implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content, and that any experimental research that is reported in the manuscript has been performed with the approval of an appropriate ethics committee. Research carried out on humans must be in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration, and any experimental research on animals must follow internationally recognized guidelines. A statement to this effect must appear in the Methods section of the manuscript, including the name of the body which gave approval, with a reference number where appropriate. Informed consent must also be documented. Manuscripts may be rejected if the editorial office considers that the research has not been carried out within an ethical framework; for example, if the severity of the experimental procedure is not justified by the value of the knowledge gained.

We recommend authors refer to the PubMed Central website for further information on the editorial policies.


Preparing main manuscript text

File formats: The following word processor file formats are acceptable for the main manuscript document:

  • Microsoft Word (version 2 and above)

  • Rich text format (RTF)

  • Portable document format (PDF)

Note that figures, diagrams, tables, etc. should be incorporated within the text.  This makes the peer-review process go more smoothly.

Article types: The following is the types of articles we accept for publication: Research, Review, Case Report and Short Report.

Please read the descriptions of each article type in the fallowing links of the PubMed Central website: Research, Case Report, Review, Short report. Choose which is appropriate for your article and structure it accordingly. If in doubt, your manuscript should be classified as Research, the structure described below.

Manuscript sections for Research articles: Manuscripts for Research articles submitted to Functional Foods in Health and Disease should be divided into the following sections:

  • Title page

  • Abstract

  • Background

  • Methods

  • Results

  • Discussion

  • Conclusions

  • List of abbreviations used (if any)

  • Competing interests

  • Authors' contributions

  • Authors' information (if any)

  • Acknowledgements and Funding

  • References

  • Figure legends (if any)

  • Tables and captions (if any)

  • Description of additional data files (if any)

Manuscripts for Review articles should be divided into the following sections:

  • Title page

  • Abstract

  • Review

  • Conclusions

  • List of abbreviations used (if any)

  • Competing interests

  • Authors' contributions

  • Acknowledgements and Funding

  • References

  • Figure legends (if any)

  • Tables and captions (if any)

  • Description of additional data files (if any)

Please read the descriptions of each article type and choose which is appropriate for your article, structuring it accordingly. If in doubt, your manuscript should be classified as Research, the structure for which is described below.

Title page: This should list the title of the article. The title should include the study design.

The full names, institutional addresses, and e-mail addresses for all authors must be included on the title page. The corresponding author should also be indicated.

Abstract: The abstract should not exceed 350 words and must be structured into separate sections: Background, the context and purpose of the study; Results, Main Findings; Conclusions, Brief Summary and Potential Implications. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. Trial Registration, if your research article reports the results of a controlled health care intervention, please list your trial registry, along with the unique identifying number, e.g. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN73824447. Please note that there should be no space between the letters and numbers of your trial registration number.

Background: The background section should be written from the standpoint of researchers without specialist knowledge in that area and must clearly state - and, if helpful, illustrate - the background to the research and its aims. Reports of clinical research should, where appropriate, include a summary of a search of the literature to indicate why this study was necessary and what it aimed to contribute to the field. The section should end with a very brief statement of what is being reported in the article.

Methods: This should include the design of the study, the setting, the type of participants or materials involved, a clear description of all interventions and comparisons, and the type of analysis used, including a power calculation if appropriate.

Results and Discussion: The Results and Discussion may be combined into a single section or presented separately. Results of statistical analysis should include, where appropriate, relative and absolute risks or risk reductions and confidence intervals. The results and discussion sections may also be broken into subsections with short, informative headings.

Conclusions: This should state clearly the main conclusions of the research and give a clear explanation of their importance and relevance. Summary illustrations may be included.

List of abbreviations: If abbreviations are used in the text, they should be defined in the text where first used. A list of abbreviations can be provided, preceding the competing interests and authors' contributions.

Competing interests: A competing interest exists when your interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by your personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests but also any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment were they to become public after the publication of the manuscript. For more detail information on this subject please visit the fallowing PubMed Central web page.

Authors' contributions: In order to give appropriate credit to each author of a paper, the individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section. For more detail information on this subject please visit the PubMed Central web page.

Authors' information: You may use this section to include any relevant information about the author(s) that may aid the reader’s interpretation of the article, and understand the standpoint of the author(s). This may include details about the authors' qualifications, current positions they hold at institutions or societies, or any other relevant background information. Please refer to authors using their initials. Note this section should not describe any competing interests.

Acknowledgements and Funding: Please acknowledge anyone who contributed towards the study by making substantial contributions to conception, design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, or who was involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content, but who does not meet the criteria for authorship.

References: All references must be numbered consecutively, in square brackets, in the order in which they are cited in the text, followed by any in tables or legends.

Only articles and abstracts that have been published, are in press, or are available through public e-print/preprint servers may be cited. Unpublished abstracts, unpublished data and personal communications should not be included in the reference list, but may be included in the text and referred to as "unpublished data", "unpublished observations", or "personal communications" giving the names of the involved researchers. Notes/footnotes are not allowed. Obtaining permission to quote personal communications and unpublished data from the cited author(s) is the responsibility of the author. Journal abbreviations follow Index Medicus/MEDLINE. Citations in the reference list should contain all named authors, regardless of how many there are.

Examples of the Functional Foods in Health and Disease reference style are shown below. Please take care to follow the reference style precisely; references not in the correct style may be retyped, necessitating tedious proofreading.

Links: Web links and URLs should be included in the reference list. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site and the URL, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database []

Functional Foods in Health and Disease reference style:

Article within a journal: 1. Mardunts EV, Orengo SF, Bork P: BRCA1 protein products: functional motifs. Nat Genet 1997, 13:266-267.

Article within a journal supplement: 2. Ivanov CA, Bray JE, Lee T, LoConte L. : Analysis and assessment of ab initio three-dimensional prediction, secondary structure, and contacts prediction. Proteins 1998, 43(Suppl 3):149-170.

In press article: 3. Burger SA, Barnes PJ: Clinical aspects of exhaled nitric oxide. Eur Respir J, in press.

Published abstract: 4. Taylor NJ, Burger JA, Marinova-Mutafchieva L, Maini RN: Mesenchymal cells, stromal derived factor-1 and rheumatoid arthritis [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 1998, 42:s250.

Article within conference proceedings: 5. Barnes X: Zeolites and synthetic mechanisms. In Proceedings of the First National Conference on Porous Sieves: 27-30 June 1996; Baltimore. Edited by Smith Y. Stoneham: Butterworth-Heinemann; 1997:16-27.

Book chapter or article within a book: 6. Johnston E: From prey via endosymbiont to plastids: comparative studies in dinoflagellates. In Origins of Plastids. Volume 2. 2nd edition. Edited by Lewin RA. New York: Chapman and Hall; 1992:53-76.

Whole issue of journal: 7. Mardunts B, Johnston S.: Innovative oncology. In Breast Cancer Res 1997, 10:1-72.

Whole conference proceedings: 8. Margolis (Ed): Proceedings of the First National Conference on Porous Sieves: 27-30 June 1999; Baltimore. Stoneham: Butterworth-Heinemann; 1999.

Complete book: 9. Martirosyan D: Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1989.

Monograph or book in a series: 10. Das GW, Gadek JE: The alveolar macrophage. In Cultured Human Cells and Tissues. Edited by Harris TJR. New York: Academic Press; 1999:54-56. [Stoner G (Series Editor): Methods and Perspectives in Cell Biology, vol 1.]

Book with institutional author: 11. Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification: Annual Report. London; 1998.

PhD thesis: 12. Taylor R: Wrappers for performance enhancement and oblivious decision graphs. PhD thesis. Stanford University, Computer Science Department; 1999.

Link / URL: 13. The Mouse Tumor Biology Database []

Preparing illustrations and figures: Note that figures, diagrams, tables with a portrait, not landscape orientation, etc. should be incorporated within the text.  This makes the peer-review process go forward more smoothly.

  Formats: The following file formats can be accepted:

  • EPS (preferred format for diagrams)

  • PDF (also especially suitable for diagrams)

  • PNG (preferred format for photos or images)

  • Microsoft Word (figures must be a single page)

  • TIFF

  • JPEG

Figure legends: For each figure, the following information should be provided: Figure number (in sequence, using Arabic numerals - i.e. Figure 1, 2, 3 etc); short title of figure (maximum 15 words); detailed legend, up to 300 words.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

Preparing tables: Each table should be numbered in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e. Table 1, 2, 3 etc.). Tables should also have a title that summarizes the whole table, maximum 15 words. Detailed legends may then follow, but should be concise.

Smaller tables considered to be integral to the manuscript can be pasted into the document text file. These will be typeset and displayed in the final published form of the article. Such tables should be formatted using the 'Table object' in a word processing program to ensure that columns of data are kept aligned when the file is sent electronically for review; this will not always be the case if columns are generated by simply using tabs to separate text. Commas should not be used to indicate numerical values. Color and shading should not be used.

Larger datasets can be uploaded separately as additional files. Additional files will not be displayed in the final, published form of the article, but a link will be provided to the files as supplied by the author.

Tabular data provided as additional files can be uploaded as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls) or comma separated values (.csv). As with all files, please use the standard file extensions.


Style and language: Currently, Functional Foods in Health and Disease can only accept manuscripts written in English. Spelling should be US English or British English, but not a mixture. Gene names should be in italic, but protein products should be in plain type.

There is no explicit limit on the length of articles submitted, but authors are encouraged to be concise. There is no restriction on the number of figures, tables or additional files that can be included with each article online. Figures and tables should be sequentially referenced. Authors should include all relevant supporting data with each article.

Functional Foods in Health and Disease will not edit submitted manuscripts for style or language; reviewers may advise rejection of a manuscript if it is compromised by grammatical errors. Authors are advised to write clearly and simply, and to have their article checked by colleagues before submission. In-house copyediting will be minimal. Non-native speakers of English may choose to make use of a copyediting service.

Help and advice on scientific writing: The abstract is one of the most important parts of a manuscript. For guidance, please visit the fallowing BioMed Central page on "Writing titles and abstracts for scientific articles"

Abbreviations: Abbreviations should be used as sparingly as possible. They can be defined when first used or a list of abbreviations can be provided preceding the acknowledgements and references.


  • Capitalize only the first word, and proper nouns, in the title.

  • Please use double line spacing.

  • Type the text unjustified, without hyphenating words at line breaks.

  • All pages should be numbered.

  • Use the Functional Foods in Health and Disease reference format.

  • Footnotes to text should not be used.

  • Greek and other special characters may be included. If you are unable to reproduce a particular special character, please type out the name of the symbol in full. Please ensure that all special characters used are embedded in the text, otherwise they will be lost during conversion to PDF.

  • Genes, mutations, genotypes, and alleles should be indicated in italics, and authors are required to use approved gene symbols, names, and formatting. Protein products should be in plain type.

Please see our sample article.

Copyright: Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published before or under consideration for publication elsewhere, and that  the authors agree to automatic transfer of the copyright to the publisher.

Please review our Submission Checklist and accept the Terms and Conditions prior to submitting your article. Failure to do so will result in a delay in acceptance of your manuscript submission.