Globally, the demand for functional foods and beverages has significantly increased due to socioeconomic changes, particularly in health consciousness to enhance their functionality. Functional ingredients derived from botanicals are widely used because of their phytochemical properties with health benefits. This study aims to (1) review the capabilities and challenges of botanical addition in functional foods, (2) review current policies and regulations for functional foods containing botanicals in the European Union (EU), Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand, and (3) provide recommendations on effective food safety control measures for better consumer trust and trade facilitation. This critical review was analyzed from online publications and available guidelines, regulations, and control measures published by food industries and governments in the selected countries. The result confirmed that potentialities of botanicals arise from numerous bioactive compounds with varieties of sources. However, the usage may potentially raise health risks through hazardous substances in different species or plant parts, contaminants from environments and uncontrolled processes. Inadequate knowledge of botanical formulation and the maximum limit for daily consumption may elevate health risks through food-drug interaction or adverse effect incidents. Current policies and regulations show that varieties of measures are implemented influencing both economic growth and consumer awareness. The novel finding is that countries that provide a comprehensive national food control system influence not only the growth of the functional food subsectors but also build trust in food safety among trade partners and consumers.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.