• Amerigo Scientific Instrument

    Functional food ingredients are bioactive compounds that can be used in the manufacture of functional food products. The ingredients can provide health benefits in addition to basic nutrition. The main bioactive ingredients including prebiotics, probiotics, amino acids, peptides, proteins, ω-3 fatty acids, structural lipids, phytochemicals and plant extracts, minerals, vitamins, fiber, specialty carbohydrates, carotenoids and antioxidants are recognized as functional food ingredients of fortified food. Bioactive ingredients are extracted from a variety of sources such as fruits, cereals, vegetables, and food processing residues that retain their properties after extraction. They are provided to consumers in the form of functional foods, beverages, personal care products and supplements.

    Functional foods can help prevent and reduce risk factors for diseases or enhance certain physiological functions, such as immune enhancement, improvement of systemic circulation, and control of aging. The function of functional foods is based on the bioactive ingredients added or naturally present in the product. Bioactive ingredients promote health by modulating metabolic processes and exhibiting beneficial effects such as antioxidant activities, inhibition receptor activities, induction of enzymes, and gene expression. Chitosan, polyunsaturated fatty acids and astaxanthin from macroalgae, microalgae, and other marine animals have excellent potential as functional food ingredients because of their favorable physiological effects and health benefits, such as anti-cancer or anti-inflammatory activities. In addition, phlorotannins are a seaweed-based class of polyphenolic compounds that can be active ingredients in nutraceuticals due to their antioxidant activity.

    Bioavailability of functional food ingredients and the levels required by the human body are key factors required to optimize health benefits. Bioavailability is a complex process involving liberation, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination phases. The absorption of bioactive compounds can be influenced by solubility, interactions with other dietary components, molecular transformation, different cellular transporters, metabolism, and interactions with the gut microbiota, resulting in changes in their bioavailability. The solubility of lipophilic and hydrophilic compounds is different, leading to different mechanisms of absorption. Improving the bioavailability of bioactive food ingredients is fundamental for improving their biological efficacy. Some encapsulation techniques for bioactive molecules are designed to improve bioavailability. These techniques include spray drying, copolymerization, liposome encapsulation, inclusion complexation, co-crystallization, nanoencapsulation, freeze drying, yeast encapsulation, and emulsification. In addition, the chemical structure of bioactive food ingredients including their isomer configuration can also affect their absorption. Thus, structural modifications of bioactive compounds are one of approaches for improving bioavailability.

    Amerigo Scientific offers a wide range of functional food ingredients such as prebiotics, probiotics, amino acids, peptides, proteins, lipids, and plant extracts, which have benefit effects including the reduction of oxidative stress, retardation of aging, or the prevention of arteriosclerosis.

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