The CAFFRE mission is to serve as a catalyst for research and development of novel functional foods and components that will enhance health.
What are functional foods?
“Functional foods” can be defined as food products that may provide health benefits beyond their contribution to nutrient requirements. A recent International Food Information Council study showed that 80% of Americans currently consume or are interested in consuming functional foods and beverages. Despite improved medical care and the elimination of most nutritional deficiencies, aging Americans are suffering from chronic diseases ranging from obesity, diabetes, vascular disease, arthritic and autoimmune conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases. Epidemiological evidence consistently suggests that increased fruit and vegetable consumption provides significant protection against chronic disease. In addition to essential nutrients, fruits and vegetables contain a variety of compounds possessing health-promoting activities. Intensive efforts within CAFFRE are focused on the identification of single or combinations of nutrients and bioactive compounds in plant and animal foods that promote optimal physiologic function of specific tissues and organ systems.