Plant sterols, Omega-3 fatty acids and bio-active peptides
The packaged food industry’s recipe for a healthy heart
Heart healthy fortified functional foods have been extremely successful in recent years. The most commonly fortified foods are yoghurt, bread, milk and spreadable oils and fats. Widely used functional ingredients in these productsare plant sterols and stanols, Omega-3 fatty acids and Bio-active peptides, with more niche ingredients such as soluble fibre, Squalene and antioxidants also becoming increasingly visible. It is estimated that over 200 heart health related products were launched globally in 2009. In the same year global sales of heart healthy fortified/functional oils, yoghurts,milk and breads reached EUR 2.5 billion, with Western Europe accounting for 64 percent of these sales at EUR1.6 billion. Withcardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in Europe, accounting for about 48 percent of deaths, it is no surprisethat heart healthy fortified functional foods are faring so well. They are third in terms of sales of fortified functional foods inWestern Europe following closely behind Digestive Health and Immune Support. Despite challenges facing the market forthese products such as questions of credibility and price conscious consumers, they are expected to continue their impressive performance with new brands, product formats and health claims likely to emerge.