chapter  23
16 Pages

Improving Foods for Better Nutrition

In the last few decades, there has been a shift in perception of the possible roles of food and nutrition. The fundamental role of food is to supply the basic nutrients required for the maintenance of physiological function and growth, while also satisfying sensory needs. Such basic requirements give rise to the dietary reference values used for population recommendations. However, as the science of human nutrition has grown, our knowledge of the role of nutrients in the body has developed and increased our understanding on how the intake of specic nutrients may impact on health and the prevention and development of disease states. Thus, there has been a shift from discussing ‘ adequate’ nutrition to considering ‘optimal’ nutrition. This presents a challenge to nutritional scientists to decide, where relevant,

• how much is enough (to minimize deciency)? • how much is best (to meet biochemical, physiological and other

functions for normal health)? • how much can provide other benets in non-nutritional ways? • how much is too much and may cause harmful effects?