European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 51, Supplement 2, pp 13–14 | Cite as

Introduction: functional foods and oral health

  • Xiaojie Wang
  • Adrian Lussi

The health of oral tissues and organs are, more or less, inevitably related to the chemical, physical and physiological properties of foods and diets. It is recognized that various dietary components may impair oral health; for example, a high frequency of consumption of fermentable carbohydrates such as sugars and starches are considered a risk factor for dental caries when a frequent intake is associated with low oral hygiene. Food acids (phosphoric and citric acid, to name a few) are risk factors for dental erosion.

Already several decades ago, research aimed to identify the role of non-fermentable bulk sweeteners such as polyols in the prevention of dental caries. The tooth-friendliness of polyols, such as erythritol, isomalt, lactitol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol, has meanwhile been well established and has led to sugar-free confectionary and chewing gums in which they replace fermentable ingredients.

More recent interests have been focussed on the active potential of foods and...



This publication was commissioned by the Functional Foods Task Force of the European branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI Europe). Industry members of the task force are Abbott Nutrition, Barilla G. & R. Fratelli, BASF, Bionov, Biosearch Life, Cargill, Chiquita Brands International, Coca-Cola Europe, Danone, Dow Europe, DSM, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Institut Mérieux, International Nutrition Company, Kellogg Europe, Kraft Foods Europe, Mars, Martek Biosciences Corporation, McNeil Nutritionals, Naturex, Nestlé, PepsiCo International, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Red Bull, Rudolf Wild, Schwabegroup, Royal FrieslandCampina, Soremartec Italia—Ferrero Group, Südzucker/BENEO Group, Tate & Lyle Ingredients, Tereos-Syral, Unilever and Yakult Europe. This publication was coordinated by Dr. Alessandro Chiodini, Scientific Project Manager at ILSI Europe. For further information about ILSI Europe, please email or call +32 2 771 00 14. The opinions expressed herein and the conclusions of this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of ILSI Europe nor those of its member companies.

Declaration of interest

X. Wang and A. Lussi received a honorarium from ILSI Europe for their participation in this publication and reimbursement of their travel and accommodation costs for attending the related meetings.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaojie Wang
    • 1
  • Adrian Lussi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Operative, Preventive and Paediatric DentistryUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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