USDA MyPlate green


  • Functional food – a food given an additional function (often one related to health-promotion or disease prevention) by adding new ingredients or more of existing ingredients.
  • a natural or processed food that contains known biologically-active compounds which when in defined quantitative and qualitative amounts provides a clinically proven and documented health benefit, and an important source in the prevention, management and treatment of chronic diseases
  • processed food or foods fortified with health-promoting additives, like “vitamin-enriched” products.

Some examples

  • fortification – addition of iodine to table salt, or Vitamin D to milk, done to resolve public health problems such as rickets
  • fermented foods with live cultures are considered functional foods with probiotic benefits.


Medical food, specially formulated foods to treat diseases with distinctive nutritional needs (e.g., an inability to metabolize a common molecule)


That’s engineering

  • ferment – to cause to undergo or break down an organic substance by chemical change

Learn more…

  • Medical microbiology – the study of microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, which cause a human illness and their role in the disease.