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A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-46

Awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals among educated home makers through booklet distribution


Department of Nutrition, Professor Dhanapalan College, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication5-Dec-2014

Correspondence Address:
Poornima Jeyasekaran
Department of Nutrition, Professor Dhanapalan College, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-019X.146160

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  Abstract 

The urbanization of our country has a strong adverse effect on the dietary pattern in particular the youngsters who are travelling away from nature. The awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals is very meager among all age groups. The key person of a family is ultimately the homemaker; thus the current study is targeted on educated home maker which will have a mass impact on the society. The teaching aid used in the awareness programme is a colorful booklet fabricated in power point software is issued. The awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals among hundred educated home makers were evaluated through questionnaire before and after the booklet distribution and the results were statistically analysed.
Context: To promote better health and to help reduce the risk of diseases through the emerging fields of functional foods and nutraceuticals as a concept of nutrition, this originated in Japan. To emphasis on the Hippocrates saying, "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food".
Aims: To impart basic concepts of functional foods and nutraceuticals to the educated homemakers in Santhosapuram area, Chennai.
Settings and Design: The study was planned to evaluate the awareness of functional foods and nutraceuticals among educated home makers in Santhosapuram, Chennai in Tamilnadu.
Methods and Material: The methodology used for the study was random sampling method done for one hundred educated homemakers belonging to age group between 20-50 years. The teaching aid used in the awareness programme was a colorful booklet fabricated by the researcher which consists of basic five food groups, food pyramid, functional foods and nutraceuticals: Definition, examples and tables classifying different functional foods, their sources, health benefits and recommended dietary allowance also followed by some cooking recipe was issued. A questionnaire containing open format questions were used to assess the homemaker's knowledge. The booklets were given to each individual homemaker in person with adequate explanations. Ample time was given to them to completely go through the booklet and the same questionnaire was distributed to them. The filled in questionnaires were collected and analysed.
Statistical Analysis Used: The data were analyzed using arithmetic mean, standard deviation, students 't' test and the results were interpreted and discussed.
Results: The mean scores obtained by the selected educated home makers on the awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals before booklet issue was 38.13 and the mean score after booklet issue was 99.13. The mean scores obtained by the respondents on the awareness on functional foods of plant origin before booklet distribution was 29.15 and the mean score after booklet distribution was 98.53. From the above comparative mean scores it is very clear that the study was highly significant.
Conclusions: The attempt to distribute a Booklet titled "Titbits on functional foods and nutraceuticals" was observed to be a beneficial tool in inculcating awareness since majority of the home makers changed their dietary pattern as they have changed their routine lunch for their school going children. After awareness they have started to include baked vegetables, stuffed chappathi and sending the school lunch with a fruit each day. So it is the need of the apt time for the functional foods and nutraceuticals to be incorporated in the diets of every one in the family. The key person to bring about a change in the dietary pattern of a home is none other the home maker as per the quotes " when a man is educated a single person is educated but when a woman is educated the whole society is educated". Thus more of awareness programs on significance of functional foods and nutraceuticals should be organized by the nutritionist targeting on women for a horde revolution.

Keywords: Functional foods, nutraceuticals, plant origin


How to cite this article:
Jeyasekaran P. Awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals among educated home makers through booklet distribution. J Med Nutr Nutraceut 2015;4:39-46

How to cite this URL:
Jeyasekaran P. Awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals among educated home makers through booklet distribution. J Med Nutr Nutraceut [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 Sep 24];4:39-46. Available from: http://www.jmnn.org/text.asp?2015/4/1/39/146160


  Introduction Top

"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food," said Hippocrates about 2500 years ago. The philosophy of "food as medicine" is more relevant than ever before. As concepts in nutrition move towards emphasizing the use of foods to promote better health and to help reduce the risk of disease, new concept of functional food has emerged. [1]

Functional foods bridge the gap between ordinary foods aimed to maintain adequate nutrition status and pharmaceutical agents, medicines aimed to diagnose, prevent, cure or treat an illness. In contrast to the efficacy area of medicines functional foods are developed for enhanced function of reduction of risk of disease. [2]

A functional food is similar in appearance to, or may be, a conventional food that is consumed as part of a usual diet, and is demonstrated to have physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions, that is they contain bioactive compound. Bioactive compounds are the naturally occurring chemical compounds contained in, or derived from, a plant, animal or marine source, that exert the desired health/wellness benefit (e.g. omega-3 fatty acids in flax or fish oils and beta-glucans from oats and barley). [3] Nutraceuticals and supplements do not meet these requirements and are not classified as medical foods. [4]

Women's education in India plays a very important role in the overall development of the country. It not only helps in the development of half of the human resources, but in improving the quality of life at home and outside. Educated women not only tend to promote education of their girl children, but also can provide better guidance to all their children. [5]

With above background, the investigator had an ardent desire to create awareness about functional foods and nutraceuticals among the educated homemakers of Chennai through the distribution of a colorful booklet. The feasible objectives of the present study are:

The study has been planned to evaluate the awareness of functional foods and nutraceuticals among educated homemakers in Santhosapuram, Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Objectives of the study

1. To assess the awareness of functional foods and nutraceuticals among educated homemakers in Santhosapuram area, Chennai

2. To compare the awareness created about functional foods and nutraceuticals among educated homemakers before and after awareness through booklet

3. To impart basic concepts of functional foods and nutraceuticals to the educated homemakers in Santhosapuram area, Chennai.

Hypothesis

Hypothesis formulated based on the objectives is as follows:

Hypothesis 1

There is no significant difference in the awareness of functional foods and nutraceuticals before and after booklet distribution among the educated homemakers of the study areas.

The methodical aspect of the study is discussed below:

Selection of the educated homemakers

The study was carried out in Santhosapuram area, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Hundred educated homemakers were selected by random sampling method around the area.

Formulation of the questionnaire

The questions were framed after referring from various sources like Books, Journals and e-references. The questions were divided into three blocks, which consist of the following headings, Dietary pattern, Awareness on Functional foods and Nutraceuticals and Awareness on Functional foods and Nutraceuticals of plant origin.

Assessment of awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals of the selected educated homemakers

The selected educated homemakers were requested to fill in the formulated questionnaire by themselves. The answers given by the individuals were entered in the consolidation sheet and the total average was consolidated and recorded.

Framing and designing the booklet

A booklet was designed after collecting relevant information under the topic of functional foods and nutraceuticals. The booklet was made colorful and attractive so as to kindle the curiosity of the reader. As it is designed for educated homemakers to avoid elaborate reading tables were framed for easy reading. Certain recipes were attached, which could help them to incorporate functional foods and nutraceuticals in their daily diet.

Impact on the awareness of functional foods and nutraceuticals of the selected educated homemakers after booklet distribution

The booklets were given to each individual homemaker in person with adequate explanations. Ample time was given to them to completely go through the booklet and the same questionnaire was distributed to them. The filled in questionnaires were collected. The answers given by the individuals were entered in the consolidation sheet and the total average was consolidated and recorded.

Statistical analysis

The 100 responses each for before awareness and after awareness was separately tabulated in excel and analyzed using the arithmetic mean and standard deviation. The significance of the result was compared by means of Student's paired comparison t-test.


  Results and Discussion Top


The data pertaining to the present investigation entitled "awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals among educated homemakers in Chennai" was consolidated, statistically analyzed and discussed under the following headings:

  • Dietary assessment of the selected educated homemakers
  • Dietary pattern of the selected educated homemakers
  • Mean nutrient intake of the selected educated homemakers
  • Impact of awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Assessment of awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Assessment of awareness on functional foods of plant origin.


Dietary assessment of the selected educated homemakers

Cooking is required to obtain the maximum nutritive value of some foods and maintain a safe and wholesome food supply.

Dietary pattern of the selected educated homemakers

From [Figure 1], it is vivid that most of the selected educated homemakers (75%) were nonvegetarians. About 21% of them were vegetarians and 4% of them were ova-vegetarians.
Figure 1: Selected subject's mean food pattern

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Mean nutrient intake of the selected educated homemakers

[Table 1] and [Figure 2] clearly indicate the mean nutrient intake of the selected educated homemakers. The mean intakes of nutrients were less than the recommended dietary allowances except fat, which was excess by 17.34 g.
Figure 2: Mean excess/deficit nutrient intake of the selected educated home makers

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Table 1: Mean nutrient intake of the selected educated home makers


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The mean intake of energy was deficit by 46.59 Kcal while protein was deficit by 28.74 g, the fiber deficit was 15.68 g the calcium deficit was low about 9.57 g the iron deficit was high among home maker's children by 55 mg and the vitamin A deficit was also high 82.77 mcg and the vitamin C deficit was 14.6 mg. The mean excess/deficit intake of nutrients by the selected subjects is represented in [Figure 2].

The dietary pattern of the selected educated home maker's children found to be deficient in green leafy vegetables, milk, fiber, and fruits but excess in fats and oils.

Impact of awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals

The knowledge on functional foods and nutraceuticals of the educated Homemakers were assessed by a formulated questionnaire, which was given both before and after circulation of the booklet and the assessment as follows:

Assessment of awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals

From [Figure 3], it is well-identified that 76% of the educated home makers already know that the food they consume have medicinal properties and this percentage increased to 99 after awareness through booklet distribution.

Only 40% of the educated home makers knew about Functional foods and after awareness through booklet distribution. Cent percent of them answered yes. The correct meaning of functional foods were given by ninety seven respondents after going through booklet.
Figure 3: Awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals. BA*: Before awareness AA*: After awareness

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From [Figure 3], it can be clearly inferred that only 30% of the homemakers knew about nutraceuticals and answered that it could be taken in pill form before awareness. After awareness 100% of the homemakers came to knew about nutraceuticals and 98% of respondents mentioned that it can be taken in the form of pills and consequently after booklet distribution 99% defined nutraceuticals correctly.

The impact of awareness of the selected educated home makers are assessed and represented in [Figure 3]. Cent percent of the respondents reported that functional foods and nutraceuticals originated in Japan, while this was only 14% before awareness. The original concept of functional foods originated in Japan from its development of a special seal to denote Foods for Specified Health Use.

[Figure 4] represents the changes in the knowledge about enriched/fortified foods before and after awareness of the selected subjects. Majority of the respondents (91%) had not even observed the word enriched/fortified printed in the package of the food stuff they purchase. After awareness 100% noticed the term fortified/enriched and 68% reported iodized salt and 32% answered cooking oil as examples. Enriched merely means to replace what was lost during the refining process. Fortified means that vitamins or minerals have been added to the food in addition to the levels that were originally found before the food was refined.
Figure 4: Awareness on enriched/fortified foods. BA*: Before awareness AA*: After awareness

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Assessment of awareness on functional foods of plant origin

Just 11% of the educated home makers were able to identify the cruciferous vegetables from the list before awareness and this percentage reached maximum (97%) after awareness. About 99% identified that cruciferous vegetables are rich in glucosinolates after going through the booklet. Epidemiological studies provide evidence that the consumption of cruciferous vegetables protects against cancer more effectively than the total intake of fruits and vegetables. This review describes the anticarcinogenic bioactivities of glucosinolate hydrolysis products, the mineral selenium derived from crucifers, and the mechanisms by which they protect against cancer. [6] Tomatoes provide the body with lycopene, a valuable source of nutrition. Lycopene has shown that it prevents damage to the cells causing cancers of many types. [7]

Before booklet distribution 26% of the respondents knew that tomatoes are rich in Lycopene and 86% of them chose that citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. "Citrus fruit is an important and high source of vitamin C because, although the nutrient is present in vegetables, it is fragile and can easily be destroyed by the cooking process". [8]. However, after booklet distribution 100% gave the correct answers.

As evident from data that before awareness only 53% considered that onion and garlic contain an active component named allyl sulfur and 37% identified oat bran is rich in beta glucan, but after awareness this percentage is increased to 99% and 98%, respectively. Oat bran is rich in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. [9]

A very meager percent (18%) identified dietary fiber as indigestible polysaccharide before awareness and this percentage increased to 97% after awareness through booklet distribution. Ninety-six percentage of the educated homemakers identified fibers are present in whole cereals, pulses fruits, and vegetables after awareness which was only 56% before awareness.

The formulated questionnaire for the assessment of awareness on functional foods of plant origin among the selected respondents is represented at the end.

Curcumin is the biologically active component of the turmeric plant, a member of the ginger family. The yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called curcumin which is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. [10] Besides its well-known culinary history that turmeric gives curry dishes their distinctive color and flavor. Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for several 1000 years in India for a number of medical conditions. [11] This concept was known to only 40% of the educated homemakers before awareness and this was increased to 99% after awareness.

Before awareness, 36% of the educated homemakers answered that isoflavones are found in soybeans and this percentage reached 100% after awareness. The color of soybean is pale yellow and this was familiar to very few (3%) educated homemakers. After booklet distribution the awareness percent increased to 97%. Only 41% of the respondents' defined phytoestrogens correctly before awareness and this increased to 94% after awareness.

Thirty-three percentage of the educated homemakers thought that isoflavones are phytoestrogens before awareness. However, this was 100% after awareness. As evident from the table before booklet distribution only 28% of the respondents considered green tea to be rich in catechins, but after booklet distribution the awareness increased to 100%.

The secret of green tea lies in the fact that it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful antioxidant: Besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. [12] Tools for obesity management including caffeine, and green tea have been proposed as strategies for weight loss and weight maintenance. These ingredients may increase energy expenditure and have been proposed to counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that is present during weight loss. [13]

Recent researches in animals show that catechins may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels. In this study, researchers looked at the effects of catechins on body fat reduction and weight loss in a group of 35 Japanese men. [14]

Ninety-eight per cent of the respondents were able to identify the bio active component present in citrus peel oil as limonene. However, it was only 22% before booklet distribution. The skins of red grapes contain resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. [15] Almost 99% of the educated home makers were able to answer that resveratrol is present in grapes after creating awareness with booklet distribution.

Beta carotene is found abundantly in yellow and orange fruits and green leafy vegetables. Only 31% of the respondents answered beta-carotene is found abundantly in both yellow and orange fruits and leafy vegetables before going through the booklet and this percentage reached 99% after giving awareness through the booklet.

Before awareness, the method of cooking used for carrot and greens was boiling 39% and 51% respectively. After awareness there is a change in the cooking method since few adopted steaming of carrots (33%) and pressure cooking of greens (22%).

A very meager percent (27%) heard about Xylitol useful for oral health, before awareness and this was highest (100%) after awareness. Cent percent of the educated homemakers did not have the habit of chewing sugar free gum after a meal. After reading the booklet, this percentage reduced to 97%.

None answered yes for the question whether they have used functional foods in any of their recipes. But after awareness 98% of them answered yes and they entered paneer/Tofu fried rice, chapatti stuffed with broccoli, parsley etc., soy milk in milk shakes, cereals topped with fruits and walnuts etc.

The mean score acquired before and after awareness through booklet distribution from the respondent's riposte on the questionnaire about the awareness of functional foods and nutraceuticals is tabulated in the [Table 2] and [Table 3].
Table 2: Mean scores for the awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals


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Table 3: The mean score obtained from the marks scored by questionnaire examination


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When the achievement scores of the selected educated home makers on the awareness of functional foods and nutraceuticals was compared before and after awareness, it was found that the mean scores obtained by the respondents after teaching session was higher (99.13) than the mean scores obtained before teaching (38.13).

The difference in the test scores achieved by the respondents on the awareness of functional foods and nutraceuticals of plant origin before and after awareness is obvious that the mean score before was only 29.15 and after it was 98.53.

The achievement scores of the respondents after going through the booklet was higher than the scores obtained before the booklet issue.

[Table 2] shows that there is a difference in the mean score value before and after awareness.

The scores obtained from the respondents before and after awareness is statistically analyzed using paired sample t-test. There was a significant difference in awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals before and after awareness through booklet distribution. When the scores of the respondents were assessed the t value was 42.869 which was higher than the table value (2.326) and it is highly significant at 1% level.

Hence, we can conclude that awareness education significantly improved the awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals among the selected educated home makers.


  Summary and Conclusion Top


The pertinent findings of this study entitled, "Awareness on Functional foods and Nutraceuticals among Selected Educated Home makers in Chennai" was summarized and the salient features are presented in this chapter.

A total of 100 educated home makers were selected. A prestructured questionnaire was formulated and administered to the selected subjects to study their socioeconomic background, dietary pattern, frequency of functional food consumption, awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals. Then a booklet titled, "Titbits on Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals" was distributed as a teaching aid for creating awareness among the respondents. The same questionnaire was again administered to them and they are assessed before and after awareness. The survey conducted at Santhosapuram in Chennai revealed that most (50%) of the women fall under the age group of 20-30 years.

The impact of the awareness after educating the subjects through booklet distribution was assessed using the Questionnaire 1:

The booklet was effective on awareness on functional foods and nutraceuticals with the mean difference in the score of about 61.

The booklet helped to a great extent on the awareness on functional foods of plant origin with a mean difference of 69.38.

Thus, it can be concluded that in India functional foods/nutraceuticals are not categorized separately as in United States, Europe, and Japan. And also, the concept of functional food is somewhat different connotations in different countries. In Japan, for example functional foods are defined based on their use of natural ingredients. In the United States however; functional food concept can include ingredients that are product of biotechnology. And in India, these functional foods can include herbal extracts, spices, fruits, and nutritionally improved foods or food products with added functional ingredients.

Functional foods and nutraceuticals may provide a means to reduce the increasing burden on the health care system by a continuous preventive mechanism. A large number of phytochemicals and bioactive compounds are present in foods of plant origin. The synergistic effects rendered by a combination of bioactive present in source materials and the complementary nature of phytochemicals from different sources are important factors to consider in the formulation of functional foods and in the choice of a healthy diet.

The attempt to distribute a Booklet titled "Titbits on Functional foods and Nutraceuticals" was observed to be a beneficial tool in inculcating awareness since majority of the home makers changed their dietary pattern as they have changed their routine lunch for their school going children. After awareness they have started to include baked vegetables, stuffed chapatti and sending the school lunch with a fruit each day.

So it is the need of the apt time for the functional foods and nutraceuticals to be incorporated in the diets of everyone in the family. The key person to bring about a change in the dietary pattern of a home is none other the home maker as per the quotes "when a man is educated a single person is educated but when a woman is educated the whole society is educated." Thus more of awareness programs on significance of functional foods and nutraceuticals should be organized by the nutritionist targeting on women for a horde revolution.



 
  References Top

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McConnon A, Fletcher PL, Cade J, Greenwood DC, Pearman AD. Differences in perceptions of functional foods: UK public vs. nutritionists. Nutr Bull 2004;29:11-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
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Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20156466. [Last accesed on 2011 Oct 09].  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Available from: http://www.greentealovers.com/greenteahealthdiet weightloss.html. [Last accesed on 2010 Dec 06].  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Available from: http://www.ezinearticles.com/?Did-You-Know-the-Skins-of-Red-Grapes-Contain-Resveratrol?&id=2117531.[Last accesed on 2011 Aug 12].  Back to cited text no. 15
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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