Healthy Food, Healthy Life, Healthy 2019!
Author: Harm Custers – Head of Marketing at Takii Europe B.V.
The first wealth is health. I wish you a healthy 2019. If it comes to healthy food, we can learn from the Japanese. During my recent visit to Japan, I got inspired again.
It is known that food primary has a nutritious function and secondary a sensory function (taste, colour, fragrance,..). In Japan, an additional function of food has started to gain attention many years ago: health-promotion or disease prevention. And vegetables play a major role in this.
Approximately 25 years ago, Takii Seed started a research project on vegetables, containing a large number of natural components that can positively impact your health and have an excellent taste. Phytorich® is the brand concept of Takii’s high functional varieties, a promise for a better food life. In Japan, this is a well-known brand on a consumer level. Unlike in Europe, fruit and vegetables can even be labelled with health and nutrition claims.
For the Japanese consumers, this additional function of food is common and clear. Why they use this? Scientific research data indicate that many functional ingredients provide health benefits that can positively contribute to the medications you take, to your ability to fight off colds and infections etc. So it is better food and tasty as well.
Now back to Europe. Obviously, the demand is growing for food that is healthy (and tasty). But there are some challenges regarding the functional part. How to measure certain ingredients and how to communicate about its positive impact on your health. That should not stop us to move forward, the benefits are there!. As Takii Europe we are currently testing a new bred tomato – high in lycopene (a plant nutrient with antioxidant properties) and high in glutamine, giving it the umami taste. We still have some steps to take, but we will get there!
Food, full of nutrients, taste AND additional functions that positively impact health. We should re-think and re-value those benefits. It is not new, the “father of medicine” Hippocrates, quoted centuries ago:
”Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.