Special Issue "Functional Food and Health: A Paradigm Shift in Agriculture"


A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Muraleedharan G. Nair
Senior Associate to the Dean College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Professor, Department of Horticulture Michigan State University Plant and Soil Sciences Bldg. 1066 Bogue St., Room 420 East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Website: http://www.hrt.msu.edu/muralee-nair
E-Mail: nairm@msu.edu
Phone: +1 517 355 5191
Fax: +1 517 353 0890
Interests: bioactive natural products; Cancer; obesity; type-2 diabetes; inflammation; antioxidant; botanical drugs; phytomedicine; nutraceutical; functional food; herbal medicine; spices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world population reached 7 billion recently and food is still a rare commodity for about 20% of the citizens live below global hunger index (GHI). Global food production is at all time high but problems surrounding pre- and post-harvest, storage and distribution mute such achievements. However, it is paradoxical where world is striving to provide food security to all, the 80% who consume food more than they need suffer from poor health and debilitating diseases.  Food, as we all know, is an integral part of staying alive, but it also plays a significant role in keeping one healthy with a better quality of life. For example, world population of all age groups suffers from obesity and type-2 diabetes.  Adult diabetes, type-2 diabetes, is one of the leading killers in the developed, developing and under-developed countries alike.  The most significant reason for the rise in diabetes is increased consumption of food with sedentary life style leading to obesity. In almost all cases, obesity leads to type-2 diabetes.
The consumption of phytochemicals including flavones, isoflavones, tannins, anthocyanins, betacyanins, chlorophyll, carotenoids, terpenoids, phytosterols, long-chain fatty acids and shorter-length polysaccharides as dietary ingredients have positive impact on the overall wellbeing and quality of life.  This has been demonstrated by researchers around the world by primarily using a series of in vitro bioassays.  Food and health are synonymous these days to many even in countries with less food security.  This is because of the belief that daily consumption of functional food, food containing beneficial bioactive natural products, delivers an effective dose of such non-nutritional components with potential to ameliorate debilitating diseases including cancer, metabolic syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.  Fruits, vegetables, berries and other generally regarded as safe (GRAS) plants play an important role in filling this space occupied by functional foods.
Consumption of agricultural products with adequate amounts of bioactives will aid in the fight against obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases and Alzheimer’s disease.  Food security policy being enacted by governments should consider agricultural products that provide not only conventional nutrition but also functional food constituents in order to improve health and quality of life of their citizens.

Prof. Dr. Muraleedharan G. Nair
Guest Editor


  • functional food
  • food security
  • bioactive natural products
  • agricultural commodities
  • novel food processing

Published Papers (6 papers)

Agriculture 2013, 3(1), 157-169; doi:10.3390/agriculture3010157
Received: 5 February 2013; in revised form: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 14 March 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Agriculture 2012, 2(4), 393-413; doi:10.3390/agriculture2040393
Received: 5 September 2012; in revised form: 16 November 2012 / Accepted: 20 November 2012 / Published: 5 December 2012
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Agriculture 2012, 2(4), 359-375; doi:10.3390/agriculture2040359
Received: 12 September 2012; in revised form: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 16 October 2012 / Published: 12 November 2012
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (360 KB) | HTML Full-text | Supplementary Files

Agriculture 2012, 2(4), 316-324; doi:10.3390/agriculture2040316
Received: 24 July 2012; in revised form: 1 October 2012 / Accepted: 8 October 2012 / Published: 17 October 2012
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Agriculture 2012, 2(3), 259-271; doi:10.3390/agriculture2030259
Received: 1 August 2012; in revised form: 13 September 2012 / Accepted: 14 September 2012 / Published: 24 September 2012
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-textCorrection | Supplementary Files

Agriculture 2012, 2(3), 244-258; doi:10.3390/agriculture2030244
Received: 7 August 2012; in revised form: 27 August 2012 / Accepted: 7 September 2012 / Published: 20 September 2012
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Last update: 20 February 2014

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