Aug 16, 2018
The country’s apex food regulator FSSAI, has promoted the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to institutionalize Resource Centre for Health Supplements and Nutraceuticals (ReCHaN) in partnership with the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA), especially in vitamin and mineral element in health supplements in India.
Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, said, “The health supplement sector is very important for the country, not only from the industry growth, but also from the public health point of view. FSSAI has taken up the task and is collaborating with various countries to create a data bank of knowhow on the subject of health supplement and nutraceuticals.”
This year in July, FSSAI had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ReCHaN to support the practices and enable valuable science-based standards and regulations in the country. The Resource Centre, established by CII and IADSA, since last one year, has been functioning proficiently to facilitate a vigorous ecosystem towards optimizing its maximum capacity of the health supplement and nutraceutical sector.
Shweta Khandelwal, senior research scientist and associate professor, Public Health Foundation of India, said, “Dietary supplements are considered safe within a broad range of intake and safety problems with the supplements are relatively rare. ReCHaN was created to strengthen and cultivate a culture of food safety and quality among various stakeholders in the nutrition supplements and nutraceuticals segment. Since it represents both industry and food regulators (government), along with some independent experts, it is likely to boost the quality of products being manufactured and supplied in the markets.”
Khandelwal further said, “Supplements sector is different than drugs or food because supplements are not seen as a danger to health, they are not regulated as strictly as drugs.”
“Proper research should be performed to develop effective dietary supplements and scientists must invest time and funds in research related to the formulation of dietary supplements. Online promotion is one of the major regulatory problems concerning supplements,” she added.
“Unfortunately, supplements sold on the Internet have low barriers of entry, and almost anyone can establish a store on the Internet and sell anything they want anywhere in the world,” Khandelwal said.
Agarwal said, “This sector poses new set of challenges not seen in the traditional food processing sector. FSSAI is gearing itself to face the challenges by learning from aboard. Indian opportunity in this space is particularly large due to plants and botanicals that are traditionally used in Ayurveda are included in the regulations.”
He said, “Claim regulations on the health supplements would soon be notified. These regulations would help industry to grow further, and at the same time, safeguard consumer interest.”
Looking that the growth rate, by 2025, India’s health supplement and nutraceutical sector is expected to reach a $10 billion industry.
Analyzing the potential, growth and value of the discussed topic, Khandelwal stated, “It is a growing industry. People are becoming more aware of the role of several therapeutic benefits of many ingredients and have started consuming those.”
“Thus, this industry has seen a huge rise in the volume of demand for health and nutrition supplements. Being a public health nutritionist, I would however add a word of caution. These fractions also are quite potent and may furnish an undesirable outcome if consumed erratically and without physician’s advice,” she added.
“People should bear in mind that in general, a balanced diet provides all nutrients in moderation and because of its natural form and better bioavailability, benefits the body much better than synthetically-formulated concoctions,” Khandelwal said.