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Introduction to Functional Food Science

This course is extremely important for food scientists, dietitians, nutritionists, and health care practitioners. It will enable them to discuss food choices for health maintenance and evaluate credible information about food and its role in health promotion, maintenance, and management.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of trans-disciplinary science (food science, nutrigenomics, molecular biology, epidemiology, etc.) for the discovery of bioactive food components and determining its efficacy
  • Understand how functional foods act as potential health benefits and what food sources they come from
  • Understand how to use discoveries in biomedical sciences, USDA databases, and FDA regulations to create new functional food products for general health maintenance, as well as for diet-related chronic diseases
  • Understand the practical steps necessary for discovering and producing new functional foods
    Make informed choices about functional foods
  • Understand the differences and similarities between medical, functional, and healthy foods
  • Compare differences and similarities for functional foods in different parts of the world Provide a complete computerized nutritional analysis of new food products with the usage of USDA nutrient databases
  • Identify relevant FDA structural, functional, and health claims for the newly created functional food products

Topic Outline of the Course

A. Introduction

1. Definition of functional food. Healthy, functional, and medical foods. Similarity and differences between these categories. Bioactive food compounds

2. Functional Foods and its Biomarkers

3. Healthy, functional and medicinal foods: similarities and differences in the categories

4. Scientific standards for evaluating functional food claims (biological mechanism, Intervention trial {randomized controlled clinical trials}, epidemiological evidence)

B. Bioactive Food Compounds: Sources and Potential Health Benefits

5. Efficacy of bioactive compounds and intake levels necessary to achieve desired effect

6. Suitable food vehicle for bioactive ingredients

7. Relationships between bioactive food components and their health benefits

8. Dietary fiber

9. Soluble fiber and prebiotics

10. Plant sterols

11. Phytochemicals in disease prevention and intervention

12. Role of bioactive peptides and its biofunctional attributes

13. Flavonoids

14. Fortification of foods with micronutrients

C. Functional Foods and Chronic Diseases

15. Functional Foods and Cardiovascular Disease

16. Functional and healthy foods for the prevention and management of metabolic syndrome and diabetes

17. Management of Metabolic syndrome

18. Spices and functional foods in diabetes

19. Impact of vitamin D on obesity

20. How can omega-3 fatty acids prevent and treat cancer

21. Functional foods in emotional health

22. Functional foods for oral health

23. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and functional foods

D. Functional Foods: Philosophy, sensory evaluation, interaction and marketing

24. Philosophy of functional foods in east and west

25. Sensory evaluation of functional foods

26. Food and drug interaction

27. Functional foods ingredients market

Final Exam

Course Work

4 Chapter Quizzes, 1 Cumulative Final Exam, Final Paper (700 word min.)

Grading Criteria

Course Component: Percent of Course Grade

Chapter Quizzes: 20% (5% each quiz)

Cumulative Final Exam: 50%

Final Paper: 30%


Introduction to Functional Food Science, Third Edition: Third Edition, Textbook (Volume 1), Edited by Martirosyan DM, Food Science Publisher, Dallas, USA

Teaching Methods

The course is a self taught course with an examination and certification of completion. This allows for participants to learn at their own pace and decide for themselves when to take the exam. All resources including syllabus, textbook, powerpoint slides, and PDF files will be provided after purchase as well as a recommended course of action with which to base the studies. The book provides practice quizzes to help you along the way and to provide feedback on your level of comprehension of the material. Once the participant has completed all included chapters, they can take the exam online which, after receiving a passing grade, will provide a printable certification of completion.

Function of this Course in Total Curriculum

The focus of food science and technology has shifted from previous goals of improving food safety and enhancing food taste, toward providing healthy and functional foods. Today’s consumers desire foods that go beyond basic nutrition - foods capable of promoting better health, or even playing a disease-prevention and management role. To meet this need for innovation, academic research, and the education system at the university, must be combined with the functional food research, development and commercialization strategies. This course is extremely important for food scientists, dietitians, nutritionists, and health care practitioners. It will enable them to discuss food choices for health maintenance and evaluate credible information about food and its role in health promotion, maintenance, and management.

Introduction to Functional Food Science Book Cover


Ongoing upon registration


8 weeks




Online, Functional Food Institute


General Biology, Food & Nutrition, or relevent educational/professional experience




Introduction to Functional Food Science (Third Edition)


Your course enrollment includes 1 year of free membership to the ASFFBC


  • Ping Ouyang, PhD,  (She is teaching Introduction to FF Cource at Western Michigan University). 
  • Danik Martirosyan, PhD, (he is teaching this cource at Functional Food Center/Functional Food Institute), also guest lecturer at Western Michigan University

COST (at Functional Food Institute)

$595.00 USD

*Partial scholarships and group discounts available

**This course may be completed for Continued Professional Development and may be eligible for tuition reimbursement from your employment institution

Ping Ouyang, PhD, Assistant Professor

Dietetics, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Education and Human Development, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, USA. She is a Certified Functional Food Scientist, certificate number: 1008FFC/FFI. The certificate is valid for 3 years, until December 14th, 2022.

Ping Ouyang 

Danik Martirosyan, PhD

President, Functional Food Center/Functional Food Institute, Dallas, TX, USA; Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Functional Foods in Health and Disease, Dallas, TX, USA. He is a Certified Functional Food Scientist, Certificate number: 1000FFC/FFI. The certificate is valid for 3 years, until June 1, 2023

Danik Martirosyanon