Functional foods a $195 billion market by 2012
Sales of functional foods - those fortified with naturally occurring ingredients that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition - are projected to ring up annual compound growth of 7 percent each year through 2012, according to Scientia Advisors LLC, Cambridge, Mass. This rapid rise could equate to sales growing from an estimated $128 billion in 2006 to $195 billion by 2012. Lead researcher and Scientia Principal Bob Jones said key factors fueling industry growth include an aging U.S. population, rising healthcare costs and robust science and industry innovation. He identifies functional foods as probiotics (microorganisms that provide health benefits), Omega 3 (fish oil) extracts, phytonutrients (certain substances in plants such as soy beans, blueberries or grapes) and other natural substances. Some of these ingredients can reduce the risk of certain diseases or help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Others can enhance physical and athletic performance, memory or cognitive performance.
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