Ontario Pork predicts a greater consumer awareness of health and well-being will create an opportunity for pork producers interested in the expanding market for functional foods. These ordinary foods contain components that offer some added benefit, either medical or psychological, that go beyond basic nutrition.

Current examples of pork products considered functional foods include pork that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a compound recognized as having a positive effect in terms of eye, brain and cardiovascular health. Another option is pork that is high selenium, a compound that is linked to reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and improved immune response.

Ontario Pork estimates that by 2010 the functional foods market is going to grow to about 167 billion dollars. Currently in Canada, about one billion dollars of value of farm production is going to supply ingredients for the functional foods market.

Current research so far into functional foods has revolved around vegetable and crops and less emphasis has been placed on animal products so there is certainly a large opportunity to create some successful animal protein products.

Source: Ontario Pork news