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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David D. Kitts, MSc, PhD (University of British Columbia)
Description: The information in this book contributes to the better understanding of the science behind the bioactivity of different dietary components. Chapters are included that describe important commerce issues involving food industry development of novel foods and the marketing strategies of specific nutraceuticals and related health claims. The contents provide contemporary information on a great number of nutraceutical components that are more or less confined to different plant systems and associated phytochemical composition (e.g. flavonoids, lucopene, carotenoids, etc.). There are detailed descriptions on the chemistry of specific nutrient changes caused by environmental stimuli as well as a good review of some of the specific etiologies that underlie different chronic diseases and how specific nutraceuticals may modulate or prevent the development of these diseases.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide detailed mechanistic information on how various, well recognized nutraceuticals function in the body to bring forth the health benefit that goes beyond an essential nutrient in regard to normal growth and maintenance of healthy body function. Moreover, good contributions are provided on the aspects of standardization testing for efficacy and safety as well as on finding markets that will produce successful consumer acceptance of nutraceuticals or functional foods.
Audience: The audience that will benefit from this book could be very diverse and includes basic nutritionists and dieticians, physicians, dentists, food technologists, and individuals in the food marketing sector. The average consumer could also gain a great deal from this book.
Features: The contents are well organized to provide specific topics that cover bioactive plant and marine food constituents as well as overviews on specific disease states that may be germane to the role of nutraceuticals or functional foods to protect against such chronic diseases. There is relatively less information on the regulatory aspects of nutraceuticals and functional foods; a topic, which due to the vast differences in legalities between Europe, Asia and North America, can be justifiably excused.
Assessment: I give a very positive assessment to this book on the basis that a good depth of description of many different nutraceutical or functional food categories are covered by different authors who demonstrate a strong understanding to the role of specific nutrients and non-nutrients in providing a healthy food system. The comprehensive coverage of all topics makes this a very good reference for readers who may be seeking to obtain different levels of understanding of this very exciting field of nutrition and food science.