Functional food ingredients to know in 2015With consumers demanding more from their foods than just good flavor and feeling full, more Americans are introducing foods into their diets that they believe will inject them with benefits that go beyond basic nutrition.

According to Packaged Facts’ recent research titled “Functional Foods: Key Trends & Developments in Ingredients,”   Baby Boomers and Millennials are looking for products offering positive nutrition to help them optimize health and avoid chronic and, potentially, life-threatening illness

According to Packaged Facts, five key nutrients and ingredients to put the spotlight on in 2015 are proteins, omega 3 patty acids, vitamin D, magnesium and microalgae.

Protein and omega 3 fatty acids continue to be a trend in food as consumers focus their diet on items that provide lasting energy and support heart health.

A recent survey indicated 53 percent consumers want more vitamin D, and proposed changes to the nutrition facts panel could have manufacturers looking to add a boots of the vitamin where they can.

Magnesium is important to bone and joint health and research shows it may be beneficial in type 2 diabetes and insulin resistances, inflammation, hypertension, asthma, colon cancer and promoting brain health, according to Packaged Facts.

 The newcomer, microalgae, is just making its way into the marketplace. “This entirely new class of whole food ingredient gives functional food and beverage manufacturers the opportunity to offer traditional, fat laden foods with significantly reduced fat, cholesterol and saturated fat while adding protein, micronutrients and antioxidants, facilitating inherently shorter ingredient declarations, without introducing GMOs or allergens,” Packaged Facts said.