Third Edition of Introduction to Functional Food Science

Third Edition of Introduction to Functional Food Science

Functional foods science is a rapidly evolving field, and its progress is supported by both scientific communities and food industries. In the face of declining health and elevating healthcare costs, novel approaches to healthcare delivery are becoming more necessary. Food, particularly “functional food,” can be part of the solution.

In the newest edition of our textbook, Introduction to Functional Food Science, we strive to educate research professionals, students, and the public through descriptions of functional food components, health benefits, chronic diseases, global markets, and sensory evaluation. In addition to these main sections, we discuss sub-topics including: modern scientific technology, the relationship between functional food science and medicine, and finally, how food claims are regulated across the world.

This textbook was a large-scale project completed with the help of over 40 food, nutrition, or medical experts. The book is already being used in the following countries: the United States, Japan, Brazil, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Korea, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Mexico, India, Finland, Croatia, and Nova Scotia. Moreover, the third edition is in demand at universities such as Dartmouth College, Cornell University, M.I.T, University of Michigan, Queens College, University of Nevada, Reno, Acadia University, Tuskegee University, and LeMoyne-Owen College, in addition to international universities such as: Université Blaise Pascal, Lund University, Karolinska Institute & University Hospital, AlbaNova University Center, King Saud University, Shifa College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Jeonbuk National University, Gazi University, The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Nursing, Chung Chi College, University of Granada, University of Jordan, BOKU, Bern University, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, BUAP, University of Eastern Finland, University of Zagreb, Poznan University Amity University, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, University of Giessen, Hacettepe University, and Jordan University.

New Features of Third Edition

In order to improve accessibility and overall student learning, we have added new features to the third edition. For example, we added a chapter regarding the newest functional food definition by the FFC. We begin by describing the origins of the functional food concept, its initial definitions and development, and why a standardized definition will benefit the world. We end the chapter with an explanation of each part of the FFC definition, in addition to why we believe it is an improvement on previous definitions. Other additions include: detailed editing of articles, new figures, tables, and pictures, end of chapter summaries for each chapter, test questions at the end of each chapter, and an updated glossary with new key words. We believe that this edition will help our readers to better understand the concepts of functional food science and new material.

Outline of the Third Edition

Similar to our previous editions, this edition contains four parts:

In Part 1, “Introduction,” we define functional foods and categorize them. We explore the foundation of functional food science: biomarkers and bioactive compounds. Without these, scientists would not be able to tie functional food with health benefits. Then we describe scientific standards for evaluating food claims, including those for: regulation, pre-clinical and clinical studies.

In Part 2, “Bioactive Food Compounds: Sources and Potential Health Benefits,” we discuss various types of bioactive compounds, such as: antioxidants, dietary fibers, prebiotics, plant sterols, phytochemicals, bioactive peptides, and flavonoids. Bioactive compounds are discussed in terms of their health benefits and their food vehicles.

In Part 3, “Functional Foods and Chronic Diseases,” we examine how functional foods can be used to prevent, manage, and treat chronic illnesses, particularly: metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. We also describe the roles of functional and medical foods in benefitting emotional health, oral health, and gerontology.

Lastly, in Part 4, “Functional Foods: Philosophy, Evolution, Interactions, and Market,” we discuss topics relating to Eastern and Western perspectives on functional food, including: consumer attitudes, sensory evaluation of functional foods, food-drug interactions, and the functional food ingredients market. Additionally, our chapter onSensory Evaluation of Functional Foods” has been revised to include more information about sensory food evaluation, consumer testing, and analysis.

This textbook is a guidebook for professionals and the public alike, for anyone who wants to become more informed about functional food science, methodology, and directions for future research. Our goal is to educate those interested in what functional food is, its impact, potential, and the ways in which functional food can gain a better foothold in today’s food economy.

Feedback from Students, Professors, and Instructors     

Here is some feedback from students, professors, and instructors from prominent universities and organizations who have used this textbook:

“This is a long wished book containing a monumental amount of knowledge but, at the same time, mostly updated and easily accessible from medical students to a dedicated prime researcher but certainly also for dietitians, educated nurses and personal trainers who are cooperating with other professionals in a global fitness approach. This book successfully tackles the issue of functional food identity, scientific validation or working progress and its application in health issues, from prevention to an integrative medical approach viewpoint. It has to be considered a must in this field and should be available in any private or public library.” - Francesco Marotta, PhD, MD, Professor, ReGenera Research Group for Aging Intervention, Milan, Italy; Montenapoleone Medical Center, Milano, Italy

“This book is extremely helpful in understanding functional food science and how it relates to the human body. The chapters are clear, easy to read, and fundamentally interesting. Functional foods in health is a growing topic and this text book breaks down the science behind these foods and offers a lot of great information on how they can be used to fight disease and improve overall health. Overall, this book is an excellent resource for anyone taking a class on this subject or wanting to learn more about functional foods.” – Becca, student

“This textbook contains valuable information on functional foods and the role that they play in disease prevention and overall health. It has been updated from the previous editions, now including more up-to-date information and research. It’s perfect for anyone to gain knowledge on the subject including students, professors, dieticians, and physicians. The various topics are covered in depth and made easy to understand with useful glossary terms, summaries, and test questions. This book is definitely a must have for anyone in the field looking to gain a deeper understanding of functional food science.” – Stacie, student

More positive and helpful reviews can be found on We are confident that this is a necessary textbook for professors and students studying functional food, nutrition, and medicine that we have given away over 60 free desktop copies of the Introduction to Functional Food Science to professors and instructors around the world. In return, we only ask these professors to fill out a quick survey. Instructors and professors who have responded to this survey have rated Introduction to Functional Food Science a high quality textbook and would recommend this textbook to a friend or colleague. These respondents include: Matt McSweeney, Acadia University, Canada; Brunner Thomas, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland; Vijaya Juturu, OmniActive Health Technologies Inc., USA; Ismene Dontas,School of Medicine, University of Athens, Greece. The textbook is a useful tool for anyone wanting to learn more about functional food because it is a comprehensive review of functional food science, informative, and easy to understand.

In the face of growing support and differentiation of this field, we wanted to recommend the third edition of, Introduction to Functional Food Science. We believe it will enrich the university classroom and the future of functional food learning. If you are interested in obtaining copies of our textbook at a discount, email us at! Also, explore our website at: