Nutrition Asia video series

VIDEO: Functional foods in South East Asia - trending ingredients, pressing consumer needs and 'preposterous' health claims

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags South east asia Nutrition

In the first of our Nutrition Asia video series we take a deep dive into South East Asia's functional foods industry to gauge the state of the market and assess how it can meet the health needs of consumers across the region.

With the help of industry expert Dr Siti Abdul Malek, who is the ‎executive director at the ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance and also oversees the regulation and science brief for Food Industry Asia, we analyse how functional foods are regulated and marketed in the region, revealing a diverse landscape where "preposterous health claims" sometimes still prevail ahead of sound science.

We also look at the burgeoning health needs that exist in the region and the potential for functional foods to help address them, from type-2 diabetes to beauty from within and also the emerging trend for personal nutrition.

Dr Abdul Malek also pinpoints the key ingredients that are booming and explains what needs to happen for the industry to grow across the region.

The functional food market in South East Asia is tipped to be worth around $35bn, with functional beverages accounting for around 40% of the market share.

Greater regulatory harmonisation in the region has long been mooted with many analysts saying it would help drive up standards and increase consumer confidence in the functional food sector.

But for now, check out our video to find out the state of the industry in South East Asia today.

Next up in our Nutrition Asia series we look at infant nutrition with insights from Danone, Mintel and CHR. Hansen.

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