Functional Food / Nutraceutical

Product development, contract manufacturing, private label, bulkware

Functional foods are foods that are enriched with additional ingredients (vitamins, minerals, bacterial cultures and unsaturated fatty acids) and that have a positive effect on health. We also specialise in this area and produce, for example, soups and drinks in powder form as monofoods.

Legal definition of “functional foods”

Functional foods (also 'nutraceuticals') are foods that are enriched with additional ingredients and advertised as having a positive effect on health. Functional foods are not nutrient concentrates like food supplements, but are marketed as typical food forms. Terms such as “designer foods” and “nutraceuticals” are sometimes used synonymously with “functional foods”.

The Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry sets out a number of requirements that functional food products should fulfil:

  • Functional foods should be exclusively ordinary foods that are part of daily meals – and not, for example, food supplements.    
  • Functional foods should display some modification compared to a conventional food that is also identifiable in the final product.    
  • The modification must offer a tangible demonstrable benefit to the consumer beyond the usual (basal) nutrient supply.

These requirements make it possible to identify products as functional and to distinguish them from “normal” products. Functional foods are not defined in food law. However, they must comply with the general legal requirements for food – for instance, they must display the compulsory labelling.

The Novel Food Regulation of 12 May 1997 applies to nutrients or foodstuffs that have been consumed in small quantities to date in the EU. “Functional foods” that are equivalent to novel foods within the meaning of the Novel Foods Regulation or contain novel ingredients are in principle not freely marketable, but must go through a European approval procedure.

Claims (advertising) of “functional foods” are regulated for foods for general consumption in the German Foodstuffs Act (LMBG) and in the regulations on food labelling and nutrition labelling. For this reason, the corresponding products fall under the framework guidelines for dietetic foods.  The relevant provisions of the Regulation on Dietetic Food apply to dietetic foodstuffs. The prohibition of misleading (Section 17 LMBG) and health-related (Section 18 LMBG) advertising can lead to problems with claims of “functional food”. As there are currently no plans for a legal regulation of “functional foods” as a legally defined group in the European Union, the permissibility of function-related advertising claims must be regulated again within the framework of the European Labelling Directive.

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We remain at your disposal for all questions concerning product development, formula development, the production and marketing of Functional food. Feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to advise you - personally and tailored precisely to your needs.