Current situation and development trend of functional foods in China

- Oct 15, 2018-

Food is essential for human survival. With the rapid development of food industry and the improvement of people's consumption level and understanding of food, people's requirements for food are no longer simply to provide nutrients necessary for metabolism and body growth, but to pay more attention to the work of food regulating body function and promoting body health. Use. People are paying more and more attention to the influence of diet on their health. The consumption trend has changed from food with good color, fragrance, taste and shape to functional food with reasonable nutrition and health function.

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Functional food concept


The term "functional food" was first proposed by Japan in 1962. At present, different countries call it "healthy food" or "nutritional food" or "improved food". In our country, it is called functional food or health food. According to the Regulations on Registration and Administration of Health Food promulgated in 2005, functional food refers to food that claims to have a specific health function or for the purpose of supplementing vitamins and minerals, that is, it is suitable for a specific population to eat, has the function of regulating the body, does not aim at treating diseases, and does not produce any harm to the human body. Food for acute, subacute or chronic hazards.

Functional foods have undergone three generations of development. The first generation of functional food is based on the composition of the base material to infer the function of the product, without verification, lack of functional evaluation and scientific. The second generation of functional food refers to animal and human experiments, confirmed that it does have physiological regulation function. The third generation of functional food is based on the second generation of functional food, to further study its functional factor structure, content and mechanism of action, to maintain the physiological active ingredients in food in a stable form.


2. Development status of functional foods in China


The development of functional foods in China has gone through the following stages:

(1) Initial stage (early 1980s - late 1980s): health food is mainly to nourish the main, and most of the wine as the carrier of liquor medicinal liquor.

(2) growth stage (late 1980s-early 21st century): with the rapid development of domestic economy, health care has gradually become fashionable, health food industry has entered a rapid growth stage.

(3) Confidence crisis stage (2001-2003): the health food industry has been experiencing a series of negative events, consumer trust in health food has been declining, the health food industry into a temporary crisis.

(4) Renaissance and Development Stage (2003-present): The SARS in 2003 has restored consumer confidence in health foods, and demand has increased dramatically. At the same time, foreign health food giants have entered a high-profile direct sales, the entire industry has entered a high-speed development stage. The output value of the industry in 2003 was 30 billion yuan, increased to 40 billion yuan in 2004, exceeded 50 billion yuan in 2005, and the compound growth rate in recent years was above 20%.


The development of functional food in China has a certain scale, but also gradually be concerned about and favored by consumers. At present, the development of functional foods in China has the following characteristics:


2.1 the number of enterprises is large, and the scale of enterprises is increasing.

Although the overall scale of health food enterprises in China is small, the problem is gradually improving. Data show that by the end of 2010, there were about 2,000 health food enterprises in China. Large enterprises with total investment of more than 100 million yuan accounted for 1.45%, medium-sized enterprises with total investment of 50 million yuan to 100 million yuan accounted for 38%, enterprises with investment of 1 million yuan to 50 million yuan accounted for 6.66%, and small enterprises with investment of 100,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan accounted for 41.39%. Less than 100 thousand yuan of workshop enterprises accounted for 12.5%, and the proportion of large and medium-sized enterprises increased year by year.


2.2 more products and richer varieties.

By August 31, 2010, the State Food and Drug Administration had approved 10,606 health foods, of which 9,971 were made in China and 635 were imported. Before July 2010, China's State Food and Drug Administration approved 427 health foods, including 115 nutrient supplements and 312 functional foods. There are several kinds of raw materials of health care products in China, such as plants, animals, fungi, probiotics and bioactive substances. The varieties of health care products are relatively rich.


2.3 new product development is effective.

The number of new products has been increasing rapidly in recent years. According to the data on the website of the State Food and Drug Administration, the number of new health foods approved in 2010 alone reached more than 550. A considerable part of them were made up of functional sugars (alcohols) such as fructooligosaccharides, isomaltose oligosaccharides, galactose oligosaccharides and erythritol. New products issued.


2.4 continuous improvement of product quality

Countries and enterprises have realized the importance of product quality, and the government has set up special research projects to increase financial and policy support for health food; enterprises have increased investment in technology research and development, through research cooperation between industry, University and research, or by drawing lessons from and introducing foreign advanced technology, to overcome a number of technical problems; at the same time, the government has also increased investment in technology research and development. The supervision and management of health food has been strengthened, and the quality of health food has been obviously improved.

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2.5 rapid development and continuous improvement of market demand

China's functional food industry is at a stage of rapid development. In 2009, the annual output value of functional food was 100 billion yuan, and sales volume has jumped second in the world. In May 2010, the import and export volume of functional food reached US $28 million 880 thousand, an increase of 55% over the same period last year.

While developing rapidly, market demand is still increasing. Because of the rising incidence of obesity, sub-health, geriatric diseases and sub-health, scholars and the public pay more attention to the relationship between diet and health. Modern science has made it possible to attain the goal of health by improving the dietary conditions and giving full play to the physiological regulation function of food itself, and the people have gradually realized this point and hope to adopt dietary therapy. To achieve the goal of health, the demand for functional foods continues to increase.


2.6, state support continues to grow.

The prevention of chronic diseases has been incorporated into the national "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" and has become the primary goal of preventive medicine in China. The new medical reform program puts the prevention and control of diseases in the first place. This shows that the government has fully realized the importance of "treating diseases before they are cured", and will continue to increase public financial and human resources in this regard, 20% of the 850 billion yuan will be used for public health education, the improvement of national health quality will be reflected in a substantial increase in health awareness and health consumption budget. This shows that the state's support for health food is increasing.


2.7 six major problems to be solved

As mentioned before, the functional food in China is in the stage of rapid development, which makes the development of functional food there are still a series of problems to be solved.


(1) Distribution of consumption areas is uneven: the main areas of health food consumption in China are concentrated in economically developed provinces and cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, etc., while the other areas are rarely distributed.


(2) Product category concentration: products mainly concentrated in immune regulation, detoxification and facial care, brain and wisdom, weight loss, kidney tonic and other aspects, and some of the current incidence of sub-health diseases related to health care products are few, most are still in the research stage.


(3) the scale of enterprises is small, and R & D investment is not enough. Listed companies accounted for a small proportion of enterprises in the capital strength, innovative technology and marketing model still need to be improved.


(4) the quality of products is uneven. The quality of some large enterprises is guaranteed, but there are also some enterprises that need to improve their product quality.


(5) challenges from foreign brands. Foreign brand health products are strong enough to enter the Chinese market, and local brands are facing fierce competition.


(6) the functional evaluation system needs to be improved. A more scientific and strictly functional evaluation system needs to be further perfected.

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3. Development trend of functional food


3.1, products are more targeted.

First of all, product development is becoming more and more targeted, enterprises are increasingly concerned about the development of different functional products for different groups of people. According to individual age, sex, diet status, gene, health status, physiological activity level, provide a unique personalized nutrition and health solutions. Secondly, the development of functional food is more targeted. A successful example is the bifid moisturizing product specially developed by Baolingbao Biological Co., Ltd. for Runchang Tongbian.


3.2 the third generation of functional foods has become the focus of research.

The results of animal and human experiments show that the structure and action mechanism of functional factors are clear, and the content of functional factors is clear, and the third generation of functional foods whose active ingredients can maintain physiological activity in food will be recognized by consumers. The development of these products will be the focus of future functional food research and development.


3.3 make full use of the resources of traditional plant extracts.

Give full play to the advantages of Chinese medicinal and food homology and develop traditional plants with good medicinal and food homology, such as Rhodiola Ginkgo and Panax Ginseng, so that these functional effects have been widely recognized as a source of raw materials for the development of functional foods, and study the functional factors therein, so as to develop functional foods directly from these raw materials. Or extract functional ingredients, add to other foods to develop new functional products.


3.4 focus on health knowledge and health promotion.

With the development and maturity of health products manufacturers, product sales and consumption is no longer only rely on advertising to attract consumers, but more dissemination of health knowledge and health concepts, so that consumers through their own health knowledge to choose appropriate health products. A number of functional ingredient enterprises in Yucheng, China's Functional Sugar City, have played a very good role in demonstrating and driving this aspect. In particular, the flagship enterprise of Functional Sugar, Bowling Treasure Biology Co., Ltd., has established popular science and health education bases such as Functional Sugar Exhibition Hall and Health Experience Hall, with the main content of disseminating health knowledge and guiding the elimination of it. The users played a good role in correctly, scientifically understanding and applying health care products.


3.5, management is more standardized.

Government regulation and the management of the industry itself are more standardized. With the promulgation of a series of important regulations and documents, such as the Food Safety Law and the Regulations on Registration and Management of Health Food, the Chinese government has gradually increased its supervision over the health food industry. At the same time, with the development and maturity of the industry itself, the enterprise itself is also developing towards standardization, which will promote the standardization of the whole industry.

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4. Development prospect of functional food


With the accelerated pace of life, the improvement of living standards, obesity, coronary heart disease, diabetes, the growing number of people, sub-health problems highlight in this context, functional food will be more and more popular with consumers. The rapid development of China's economy has also provided an economic guarantee for consumers to buy functional food vigorously. Therefore, a period of time in the future will be the golden stage of the development of functional food, functional food will play an important role in promoting the health of the whole people highlight its unique charm.