Functional Foods

Jocelem Salgado

Diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and cancers are the diseases of the urban-industrial society. Good eating habits along with a healthy lifestyle are key elements in reducing the risk of diseases and in promoting quality of life, even as we age. Well-informed people are increasingly looking for not only nutrition in food, but also means of preventing diseases and promoting well-being. Functional foods play an important role, allying their nutritional function to confirmed health benefits and reducing the risk of diseases.

Functional foods explains the health benefits and the properties of soybeans, flavonoids, limonoids, carotenoids, organosulfur compounds, glucosinolates, lignans, fatty acids and probiotic foods. It deals with the chemistry and synthesis of these compounds, its main sources of acquisition, its metabolism and its mechanisms of action.

Each chapter proposes questions so that the reader can consolidate and enhance the knowledge of the subjects presented. Case studies, examples and curiosities, ranging from the bitterness problem in citrus fruits in the food industry to the properties of acai berry and typical cerrado fruits, complement and light up the work. It is a fundamental reference for students and professionals in the areas of Nutrition, Nutrology (Medicine), Food Technology and Food Engineering.

Original title
Alimentos funcionais
Year of publication

About the authors

Jocelem Salgado

Jocelem Salgado is a Full Professor of Nutrition at the Department of Agroindustry, Food and Nutrition at ESALQ-USP (Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture), where she guides researches’ projects of Postdoctoral, PhD, Masters and Undergraduate Research for students from Brazil and abroad.

Her line of research is Therapeutic Nutrition and more recently she has dedicated herself to the study of functional foods. She is currently president of the Sociedade Brasileira de Alimentos Funcionais (SBAF).

Jocelem has published innumerable scientific papers in national and international journals and is the author of several books. She is a scientific advisor to several journals, issuing opinions on papers submitted to evaluation for publishing, both in Brazil and abroad. She is an “ad Hoc” advisor to CNPq and FAPESP and issues technical opinion on financial aid requests for research projects and scholarships.

She provides scientific advice to several companies and writes weekly articles on Nutrition and Health for the Agência Estado, the “A Gazeta de Piracicaba” newspaper and the Vya Estelar (UOL) website.

Author's CV.

1. Prospects and trends

1.1 Demographic, epidemiological and nutritional transition

1.2 Food trends

1.3 Functional foods

1.4 The functional foods market

1.5 Trends and prospects for functional foods

1.6 The consumers and the functional foods

1.7 Final considerations


2. Soybeans

2.1 History of soybeans

2.2 Production and consumption

2.3 Nutrition facts

2.4 Phytoestrogens

2.5 Isoflavones

2.6 Saponins

2.7 Soybeans: medicine X nutrient interaction

2.8 Soybeans’ benefits to health

2.9 Final considerations


3. Flavonoids

3.1 Chemistry and synthesis

3.2 Sources

3.3 Ingestion

3.4 Absorption

3.5 Beneficial health effects

3.6 Food processing

3.7 Interaction between flavonoids and medication

3.8 Final considerations


4. Limonoids

4.1 Chemistry and synthesis

4.2 Sources

4.3 Metabolism

4.4 Health benefits

4.5 Obesity

4.6 Cardiovascular diseases

4.7 Processing effects

4.8 Final considerations


5. Carotenoids

5.1 Chemistry

5.2 Classification

5.3 Sources

5.4 Metabolism

5.5 Bioavailability

5.6 Carotenoids’ importance

5.7 Provitamin A

5.8 Carotenoids as antioxidants agents

5.9 Cancer

5.10 Age-related macular degeneration and cataract

5.11 Cardiovascular diseases

5.12 Final considerations


6. Organosulfur compounds: garlic and onion

6.1 Nutritional and bioactive components

6.2 Biosynthesis of organosulfur compounds

6.3 Chemical structure and characteristics

6.4 Garlic metabolism

6.5 Problems related to the consumption of garlic and onion

6.6 Processing effect

6.7 Allium family X disease prevention

6.8 Final considerations


7. Glucosinolates

7.1 Chemistry and biosynthesis

7.2 Hydrolysis products

7.3 Metabolism

7.4 Cooking and storage effects

7.5 Beneficial effects on health: protection against carcinogenesis

7.6 Lung cancer

7.7 Colon cancer

7.8 Prostate cancer

7.9 Breast cancer

7.10 Pancreatic cancer

7.11 Final considerations


8. Lignans

8.1 Chemistry

8.2 Metabolism and bioavailability

8.3 Source

8.4 Health benefits

8.5 Final considerations


9. Probiotic, prebiotic and symbiotic foods

9.1 Probiotics

9.2 Prebiotics

9.3 Symbiotics

9.4 Final considerations


10. Essential fatty acids

10.1 Chemistry

10.2 Sources of omega-3

10.3 Omega-6/omega-3 relation

10.4 Health benefits

10.5 Mechanisms of action

10.6 Reference intakes

10.7 Potential side effects

10.8 Processing effect

10.9 Final considerations


Bibliographical references