Botanicals in Functional Foods and Food Supplements: Tradition, Efficacy and Regulatory Aspects
May 04, 2020
In recent decades, the interest in products containing botanicals and claiming functional properties has increased exponentially. Functional foods, novel foods and food supplements have a special impact on the consumers, who show significant expectation for their well-being. Food supplements with botanical ingredients are the food area that has witnessed the greatest development, in terms of the number of available products, budget, and consumer acceptability. This review refers to and discusses some open points, such as: (1) the definitions and regulation of products containing botanicals; (2) the difficulty in obtaining nutritional and functional claims (botanical ingredients obtaining claims in the EU are listed and summarized); (3) the safety aspects of these products; and (4) the poor harmonization between international legislations. The availability of these new products can positively influence the well-being of the population, but it is essential to provide the consumers with the necessary recommendations to guide them in their purchase and use.