Health food types


Lesson 2 : Health Foods

Health food types

The health foods are classified based on the type of foods


  1. Fruit based health foods: fruit based nutritious beverages are considered health drinks. Fruits, viz, mango, oranges, grapes, acid limes, passion fruit, banana, guava, pineapple, papaya, apple and pomegranate are used to prepare RTS beverages. Value added products of amla can be prepared.
    • Units of R.T.S beverages can be established in rural areas where the fruits are grown.
    • Marketing can be done in urban areas.
    • The fruit pulp, sugar, citric acid, preservatives and permitted colours are used, homogenization, bottling and pasteurization are done.

  2. Cereal based health foods: Cereal based snacks, extended products and instant mixes are standardized by food research institutes and processing industries.
    • Hypoglycemic products: The cereal/millet based foods such as emmeur wheat, dahlia, millet mixes, pasta products are suitable for diabetes.
    • Ragi based malted foods: These are suitable for the babies, elderly and ailing persons.
    • Cereal based sports supplements: Sports foods have been developed that enhance the performance of the sports man.
    • Low fat bakery products: have been made with sucralose (sugar alcohol) and a maize based malto dextrin. Low fat muffins, reduced calorie cup cake, low fat tortilla chips, low fat instant drinks and soups, grain based breads are available.

    Extruded products:

    • Low cost supplementary products using maize have been developed. Carrot, red palm oil and curry leaf are incorporated to increase the vitamin A precursor.
    • Protein rich noodles have been manufactured using green gram, green peas and wheat at a low cost and high energy content.
    • An antioxidant rich extruded product based on cereals and pulses fortified with basil leaves and natural antioxidants are also developed for health benefits.
    • The extruded foods rich in fibre component is available, that can be useful for obesity and other disorders.

  3. Milk based health foods:
  4. A variety of functional dairy foods are available worldwide.

    • Probiotic and prebiotic products
    • Low cholesterol fresh milk
    • Low lactose and lactose free milk products for the control of hypertension.
    • Mango soya fortified yoghurt powder rich in phytochemicals and micronutrients is developed.
    • Concentration of milk is done by vacuum evaporation or ultra filtration to minimize loss of nutrients.

Health Drinks: Health drinks based on whey proteins for various age groups are now available.

  1. Whey based geriatric health drink rich in micronutrients has been developed.
  2. Nestle has developed milk based drink for children below 2 years.
  3. Antioxidant health drinks are now available in the market.

Energy drinks and sports foods

  1. The sports drinks are designed to replace fluids and to provide carbohydrates.
  2. Energy drinks- Are marketed for the mental stimulant effects. Ingredients like caffeine, taurine, glucanolactone are present in energy drinks.
  3. Energy bars- Are rich in energy. Contain sugar, fats, proteins, vitamins, caffeine and taurine. These are found useful for hard working professionals and for athletes.

Fermented foods and beverages- Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifido bacteria species are known for use in prebiotic dairy foods. Cultured products should contain more than 106 of cfu/g of bacteria. These fermented milk products are good for prevention of GIT infections, reduction of serum cholesterol and anti mutagenic activity. They are recommended for patients suffering from atherosclerosis..

Fortification: Food fortification has been defined as the addition of one or more essential nutrients to a food for preventing or correcting deficiency.

Restoration: Is addition of essential nutrients to food which are lost during the course of good manufacturing practices (GMP) or during normal storage and handling procedures.

Enrichment: Restoration of vitamins and minerals lost during processing.
The modified foods fortified with nutrients are also called as functional foods.

Fortified foods and Beverages:

  • Bakery products, flour, breakfast cereals, infant foods and dairy products are fortified with vitamins and minerals. B complex, iron and calcium.
  • Fortification is useful in improving the nutritional status of deficient population groups and combating micro nutrient deficiency and vitamin deficiency disorders in developing countries.
Last modified: Saturday, 7 January 2012, 9:37 AM