Revista chilena de nutrición
versión On-line ISSN 0717-7518
LUTZ R, Mariane. CAN WE TALK ABOUT FUNCTIONAL FOODS IN CHILE?. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2012, vol.39, n.2, pp.211-216. ISSN 0717-7518. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182012000200010.
Although Chile lacks a formal regulatory definition for functionalfoods, the term is currently used to designate foods that exert beneficial properties for health due to their content of bioactive ingredients. The Chilean food legislation includes a list of 18 health claims that may be associated to the consumption of a number offoods that exert beneficial effects, all based on sound scientific support. The international food legislation is increasingly demanding thefood industry to validate health claims through a series ofsuitable preclinical (in vitro, in vivo) and clinical studies in order to substantiate the claimed bioactivity offunctional food ingredients. An example of the complexity of this requirement is the case ofpolyphenols, bioactive for which a myriad of beneficial effects have been demonstrated in vitro, although their clinical validation still represents a challenge. A definition of functional foods should be established in the Chilean food regulation in order to protect consumers.
Palabras clave : Functional food; bioactive compounds; healthy claims; food legislation; validation.