Nutraceuticals

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Indian Nutra Regulatory Update In Next Normal

 

07th November 2020: Registration is obligatory for all home chefs

One of the pragmatic outcomes of the pandemic was the upsurge of several home chefs across the country. It has recently disclosed that all home chefs are required to have an FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India) registration number.

According to the F & B consultant Neeta Bhoopalam, people need not panic and apply for the registration as per the rules. 

There are two types of FSSAI no. that people need to look at manufactured by and marketed by. Those who are preparing food from scrape and peddle need to apply for a ‘manufactured by’ FSSAI numbers. Those who are obtaining materials from someone else and peddling need to have ‘marketed by’ FSSAI numbers. Depending on the number of years one wants to opt for the registration (can be from 1-5 years), the fees for the same, counting the department charges and government fee, range from Rs 1,500 to 5,000.

Neeta further adds that those who have Turnover below Rs 12 lakh per annum need to have a state license and central license for those above 2 lakh turnover per annum.

https://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/food-entertainment/food-services/decoding-fssai-registration-that-is-now-mandatory-for-home-chefs/79102204

 

19th October 2020: FSSAI is now all set to extend FoSCoS to the entire country with effect from 1st November 2020.

It is an online FLRS (Food Licensing and Registration System) since 2011 and is the licensing ecosystem’s soul. While over 40 lakh licenses/ registrants are actively transacting, 70 lakh licenses/registration have been issued to date and operational in all states.

A cloud-based, upgraded new food safety compliance FSSAI has launched an online platform called FoSCoS (URL-https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in), which will replace the existing FLRS (URL-https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in).

FoSCoS is externalized to bestow one point stop for all espousal of a food business operator (FBO) with the department for any regulatory compliance transaction.

https://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/fssais-new-food-safety-compliance-platform-to-become-operational-across-india-from-nov/78748248

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Malnutrition, the Silent Pandemic

Experiences from previous pandemics have shown that, when such outbreaks evolve, there is an urgent need to expand public health activities beyond urgent clinical management. Also, the 2020 pandemic ‘COVID-19 outbreak’ is not an exception!

This pandemic has brought a new set of challenges for the individual to maintain a healthy mind and
body. In the starting phase, many of the countries have announced lockdown around the globe.
Citizens were asked to stay at home for the community spread of virus. These measures of social
distancing have severe repercussions on both Physical as well as Mental well-being.

If we look at physical health, the food and health nutrients supply chain was hampered due to
insufficient transportation. Even, the confinement to home has directly affected one’s physically
working patterns and eating habits. For working class people, adapting to ‘Work from Home’ norms
brought very low energy expenditure.

Even COVID-19 has implications on mental health. It has been seen, fear and anxiety about this
pandemic has changed diet pattern around the globe. Compelling evidence showed that dietary
habits are affected by conditions of stress, distress, and emotional disturbance, whereby elevated
distress levels are associated with unhealthy dietary patterns and poor quality of the diet.

Malnutrition: The silent pandemic in India
Global Hunger Index has shown India is a home for about 30% of world’s stunted children and 50%
of severely wasted children. In addition to this, other factors like anaemia and obesity are increasing
burden on hidden huger.
The recent pandemic has brought serious threats to nutritional rights of malnourished individuals.
The lockdown has disrupted access to essential services including mid-day meals, vaccinations and
also supply of health supplements to the needy.

Mitigating COVID-19 impact:
To fight against upcoming pandemic of Malnutrition, one needs to tackle of four levels; individual,
community, national and global.

Individual stance:
At individual level, the responsibility lies in making an effort to choose a healthy lifestyle with right
diet and exercise.

Community stance:
At community level, people should avoid stock buying. Those who can afford can stock extra food or
other essential materials, which increases stress on supply chain. Therefore, at a community level, it
is crucial to spread awareness against ‘Panic-buy’.

Image 1: Mitigating COVID-19 impact

National Stance:
All nations around the globe are experiencing burden on healthcare services so national economy as
well. To avoid the shortage of essential services including foods and medicines, government should
invest in planning of resources, formulation of policies to support the production and distribution.
Even the public private partnership has become imperative to build etweorks with private sector,
the international agencies, and local communities. Even as social level, running public awareness
campaigns, nutrition education, emergency news bulletins, radio and TV announcements can create
awareness.

Global Stance:
COVID-19 has shown a global threat requires global action. There is a need to work together and
coordination among countries to ensure supply of essential goods and medicines and making sure
that humanity emerges from this pandemic with the least possible losses.
In nutshell, when entire world is engaged in vaccine research, the influence of this pandemic on
nutrition and dietary intake has already gone beyond the individual and the community to reach
national and global levels. The main aim should be to maintain the physical and mental well-being
individuals with resilience of communities, and national and global food security.

Sources:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-020-0634-3
https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/malnutrition-the-silent-pandemic-6610858/

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The “Next Normal” of Indian Nutraceutical Industry

The “Next Normal” of Indian Nutraceutical Industry

Indian Nutraceutical market is about to reach USD 10 Bn, which is 2% of Global Nutraceutical market pegged at USD 388 Bn. Even with such a small percentage, the Domestic market is poised to witness a substantial growth when consumer is moving towards pathy-agnostic attitude and increasing demand of preventive medicines. This shift will stimulate the demand for nutraceuticals containing products in near future.

The pandemic has also been the foundation stone and there has been a positive impact of COVID-19 on this industry. The Nutrition Business Journal 2020 predicted the sales of immunity supplements will spike over 25% in 2020 from 8.5% growth of 2019. 

Although Indian Nutraceuticals finds its root in Ayurveda, it has not been leveraged its potential in this marketplace.

India, to be a Nutraceutical hub and to explore the opportunities for expansion, the promise should be made with science based products, end-to-end supply chain capability and reformations in regulations.

Consumer Demand:

In India 150 mn people are consuming various Nutraceutical products. Pandemic situation has brought more focus and acceptance towards Nutraceuticals. The “next normal” way of living with preventive medicines will be one of the driving factors which will accelerate a growth rate up to 30%-50% higher than pre-pandemic times.

Regulatory Reforms:

The pandemic is also the foundation stone of the start of regulatory reforms in terms of responsible nutrition, bursting invalid claims as well as bringing up awareness by conducting training programs like FoSTaC (Food Safety Training and Certification). FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) now is non-negotiable terms on clinical evaluation of products, safety, efficacy and compliance with RDA.

Digital Transformation:

India being a youthful nation always attracted many marketeers. Likewise one of the lucrative markets is “e-Commerce”. From ordering e-pharmacies to having affinity towards digital entertainment platforms like Netflix, Indian population has always shown higher acceptance towards makeover with Digital solutions. And “e-Commerce in Nutra Space” is also not an exception. Pandemic has changed the market dynamics completely. e-Commerce has seen multi-fold surge. Yet, “Products with Trust” remains an issue with spurious brands.

Ensuring Supply Chain:

India to be a Nutraceuticals hub should ensure end-to-end supply chain capability. It is possible only when Pharma – Nutrition scenario gets built up. Automatically, the supply chain issue gets transformed and smooth supplies would flow.

With existing knowledge and available resources, existing players will have to expand via backward or forward integration. Increasing the raw material output by expanding cropping region, continuous availability of labour, adopting technology and being innovative will together develop an integrated model that will make Indian Nutraceutical industry grow.

Technology Convergence:

Adoption of newer technologies such as “Block-chain” will enable tracking the journey of ingredient/formulation from “farm to capsule”. This will ensure timely delivery of product and sufficiency of active ingredients. Even few of the AI (Artificial Intelligence) tools can be used to create an awareness to find out deficiencies in micro-nutrients.

Towards a Brighter Future:

Correlation between health and nutrition was a breakthrough for Nutraceutical industry. This science has given an impetus to the belief that it can provide preventive measures and reduce the risk associated with certain diseases.

With the evidence based approach Nutraceutical stakeholders are acquiring new scientific ways to educate consumers by sharing detailed information about the product and its benefits. Also, with newer technology, industry players are working towards improving quality standards of the product, enhancing transparency and giving competitive pricing.

In terms of Indian Nutraceutical regulations, if we can match with International standards then foreign investment and entry of new players will double the valuation in multi-folds.

Thus, with trust in products, Nutraceuticals are set to become a common part of Indian households in the near future!

Source:

  1. Nutraceuticals in India: A game changing opportunity in the healthcare and food industry.
  2. Nutraceuticals: From Alternative to Mainstream.
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Bridging the Gap between Nutraceutical Regulations and Enforcement

India, well-known as World’s Pharma hub, finds its root of Traditional medicines in Ayurveda! This legacy of curative knowledge is far older than the modern medicines. With Covid-19, world has accepted the role of preventive measures, thus “alternative” medicine becomes “mainstream”.

As per research, there is surge in global demand for nutraceutical products. The European consumption is influenced by innovation and research, the USA demand is driven by growing health awareness, whereas, Asian preference is due to the trust in conventional medicines.

India, having an inherent advantage in this space, is poised to benefit. Hence, to tap this potential, multipronged approach is needed, such as increasing grants for R&D, Ensuring end-to-end supply chain and redefining the regulatory system.

Efforts are being put by regulators to give the industry the required boost and allow it to contribute substantially for the public healthcare. So, let us have a look at some of the reforms done in regulations in Corona times.

 

11th June 2020: FSS Act, 2006 permits use of nutrients in products such as health supplements, nutraceuticals, etc. in amount not exceeding Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) prescribed by ICMR. – all the central and state licencing authorities are advised to strictly implement the limitation of ‘Not more than one RDA’ for nutrients as per section-22 of FSS Act, 2006 while granting licenses to FBO except for Food for Special Medical Purposes and Food for Special Dietary Uses where use of more than one RDA is permitted (as per schedule III of Nutraceuticals Regulations). https://fssai.gov.in/upload/advisories/2020/06/5ee715f0cf8c7Letter_Compliance_RDA_License_15_06_2020.pdf

16th July 2020: Surveillance and enforcement to prohibit the sell of health supplements and nutraceutical products contains PABA- a banned ingredient-re. FSSAI has banned the use of PABA in the products covered under Nutraceutical regulations due to safety concern with immediate effect. No further manufacturing is allowed and products already manufactured and imported shall be withdrawn from the market. https://fssai.gov.in/upload/advisories/2020/07/5f1035178000aLetter_Surveillance_Enforcement_Sell_HealthSuppliments_16_07_2020.pdf

 11th Aug 2020: Products covered under FSS (food or health supplements, nutraceuticals, food for special dietary use, food for special medicinal purpose, functional food and novel food) are required to comply with the general labelling requirements under the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. https://fssai.gov.in/upload/advisories/2020/08/5f3267e31a228Letter_FSS_Health_Supplements_11_08_2020.pdf

1 Oct 2020: The ministry of health and family welfare has framed Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill 2020 and introduced 70 amendments in the 2006 Act to revamp FSSAI functioning and its jurisdiction.                                With the amendments, the government has proposed to bring regulation of animal feed industry under FSSAI.Government has also decided to specify standards for “food contact material”, which would mean specifying standards for food packaging material.
The government has also proposed to make the Act more stringent prescribing enhanced penalties for violations, including manufacture and sale of unsafe food, adulteration of food causing death, carrying out business without licence and repeat offences. The amendments propose enhancing maximum fine for manufacturing and sale of unsafe food from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/govt-moves-to-revamp-the-food-safety-and-standards-authority-of-india/articleshow/78434548.cms

8 Oct 2020: FSSAI invites EOIs (Expression of interest) for selection of Training Partners empanelled under FoSTaC for training of Food Handlers- working with MDM, Aanganwadi, Govt. Canteens and Place of Worship for FSSAI. Organization invites EOIs from experienced and well-established agencies with valid empanelment as Training Partners under FoSTaC launched by FSSAI and who are ready to provide their services with due care and guidance to the users so as to get maximum utilization of resources.

FSSAI will reimburse the amount with due verification, as deemed fit, considering the number of trainees per class. (EOI_TP_ FoSTaC pdf)

12 Oct 2020: The order on “Requirement of Non GM cum GM free certificate to accompany imported food consignments-reg” is presently applicable only to food crops mentioned in annexure I of the order and not to processed products in general. Comments received from different countries will be studied before order comes into effect. (Clarification_GM_Food pdf)

 

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Navigating Towards Future of Nutra Industry

As most of us are in lockdown at home we are wondering how the post- lockdown world would look like. Opening up economic production, even partially, has brought lot more challenges.

In recently published manual, The Union Health Ministry has addressed the preventive measures that cover all types of workplaces including manufacturing plants and corporate offices.

The Covid 19 situation is disrupting and challenging the entire world like never before. I believe, it will help in making companies the world over more humane than alone profit oriented. The social distancing will in fact help in bringing the people more closer.

The present crisis will make a new difference in the human kind’s equation to 3ps i.e. People, Planet and Profits. It will help in making each of us more humble, caring, empathetic and self-sufficient; create more awareness about the importance of preserving and protecting our planet and its air, water and food resources; there will be a corporate behavioural shift where more importance will be given to people and planet over profits.

New workplace Norms:

Some of the highlights of the new workplace norms are like gap of one hour between shifts, staggered lunch breaks to ensure social distancing, sanitization of workplaces between shifts, frequent cleaning of common surfaces and hand washing. Thermal screening will be there for all those entering and leaving the work premises is mandatory and a list of COVID-19 dedicated hospitals in the vicinity should be available at the workplace.

One of the biggest consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the workplace transition to the home front, i.e., work from home (WFH). WFH has radically changed traditional work arrangements.

Essentials of WFH style:

The WFH has become survivor of for many industries including Nutraceutical as it has opened a window for physical and virtual collaboration. This has accelerated the workplace transformation and digitally transformed environments.
But to successfully navigate through this new way of working, organisations need to address it differently. The people strategy and business strategy need to be reframed in a manner that the focus need to be shifted from business-first to people-first, that is, be employee-focused and client-centric in operations.
With remote work environments becoming the new norm it is necessary that workforce is reskilled and relevant for the times ahead. Hence organisations need to ensure continuous training and learning programmes for employees

Even assistance with healthcare support (doctor on call, fitness sessions), stress management (counselling and meditation) and social connections (virtual coffee meets) can be provided by the organisations.

 

Essentials to Make Progress Nutra Industry in Near Future:

Amongst the industries in this COVID-19 crises health has become very precious industry and being at home everybody is consuming home food and looking for how to fight with COVID-19 infection by improving immunity.

 

By and large immunity has become a focus and everybody is trying to improve immunity to fight with any viral load is confronted. Absence of vaccines and presence of tests increasing new number of suspected and infected patients. Although the mortality rate is very low in India, community has engulfed in lot of fear of life.

 

As long as community remains in fear, for few who do not fear at all and disobey social distancing as well as other provided norms you would find the situation would remain same with mixed feelings as well as plethora of concerns attached to this crisis issue.

 

As a result it is important to bring hope in community from fear which will perhaps provide discipline on one hand by improving one’s immunity and also hope and on the other hand align them to be work forward to make industry more profitable.

 

It is a reality that WFH is going to be new work culture and even in the offices as they open the same remote working culture would always remain in future. It is a matter of balancing on the spot working and remote working for variety of businesses. As this proportion will vary from industry to industry, industries like IT, would have more component of remote working while construction, travel will have more focus on the spot working. Considering this kind of scenario industries are taking innovative approaches.

As a result it is important to bring hope in community from fear which will perhaps provide discipline on one hand by improving one’s immunity and also hope and on the other hand align them to be work forward to make industry more profitable.

It is a reality that WFH is going to be new work culture and even in the offices as they open the same remote working culture would always remain in future. It is a matter of balancing on the spot working and remote working for variety of businesses. As this proportion will vary from industry to industry, industries like IT, would have more component of remote working while construction, travel will have more focus on the spot working. Considering this kind of scenario industries are taking innovative approaches.

For any business or basically health business following essential functions need to, progress in a profitable way

  1. Decision making: Business progresses on day to day decisions based on articulated plans. Here management has to manage with right proportion of On the job and remote working
  2. Business development is an important activity and companies have different strategies to implement ,in the-right proportion
  3. Manufacturing, logistics, trading and availability depends on which way it progresses with technology.
  4. Communication in physical or digital way and on line business is becoming a fulcrum of business model
  5. Performance Management is a crucial piece of all activities and our HR professional will make it happen

For Nutra industry to grow further it is necessary to leverage its strengths and opportunities.in future .In given environment ,challenges are many and the Industry leaders will have to adapt the new ways to manage their businesses.

 

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Review of Natural Ingredients Business

Natural ingredients have multifaceted applications in many growing industries such as pharmaceuticals, food, personal healthcare, cosmetics and obviously Nutraceutical. Applications of these ingredients could be at different levels. They could be at active ingredient level, excipients level, additives level or applied in flavors and colors.

Multiple Industries: The scope for natural ingredients is wide and can be applied at multiple levels. In fact, pharmaceutical industry is getting integrated through natural and nutraceutical ingredients in mainstream of their business as the business is changing towards health. In case of pharmaceuticals, natural ingredients like amino acids, polysorbate, vitamin and mineral mix, herbal extracts, vegetable extracts, enzymes, slimming agents, joint health improving agents, etc. are consumed at different levels. In case of Vit E you would observe its usage and applicability of in multiple industries.

Fig 1: Multifaceted Vit E

Food Industry: In case of food industry production and consumption of range of package foods and beverages are catching up the market share, use of many ingredients as emulsifiers, sweeteners, flavors and food enhancers, and preservatives would increase. As emulsifiers, lactose and lactose syrup, molasses, seaweed extracts, pectin and starches, tapioca, sago, arrowroot starch, rosin products, chickpeas and broad & horse beans, kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, garlic, carrots and olives, vegetable saps and extracts are showing good growth. Flavoring agents in beverages, dairy products, bakery, savory and convenience foods will need to abide by the new rules. The worldwide emulsifier industry was expected to exceed a volume of 2.5 million metric tons in 2017. Emulsifiers are used not only in food and beverage products but also in the personal care industry. Consumers are readily opting for natural emulsifiers. The market is also being driven by the trend of fat replacement in food products and product innovation.

Personal Healthcare Industry: In personal healthcare industry natural, organic and Ayurvedic ingredients are preferred in different types of formulations. As per Nielsen report (2017), consumption of such ingredients is growing fast as much as 1.7 times. Applications at active ingredient level are more predominant in personal care products in comparison to other level of applications in various industries. This industry is expanding beyond moisturizing agents and sun protection to anti-pollutant and antioxidant protection. Globally many active ingredients are getting replaced by natural ingredients as the evidence and science behind these ingredients is getting available at efficacy level as well as this makes a lot of sense at commercial level also. In Indian context market is getting developed in I, II, III tiers cities.

Cosmetics Industry: In cosmetic industry the preference for natural ingredients is particularly strong among consumers, who have been exposed to traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. As most of the cosmetic products are changing their market definition to skin health and other appropriate domains, there is need for replacing synthetic ingredients and also preventive agents as many are looking for natural, active as well as preventive agents. As a result, there is a need for developing R&D, product development, rigor of regulatory needs such as human studies, clinical trials expertise in cosmetics and also overall skin care and ageing market.

Nutraceuticals Industry: In case of Nutraceuticals industry, besides food and beverages, functional foods and dietary supplements take major charge of applications as well as consumption. Processed foods and beverages like cereals, soups, food fortifiers, fortified juices and other similar products have direct consumption as active ingredients of Nutraceutical ingredients.

Fig:2 Global Nutraceuticals Market

 

Formulations market has dependence on Nutraceutical ingredients which was amounted to USD 25 bn in 2015 to the tune of almost 15-20% of its total formulations and as the formulations grow role of ingredient with its growth would further increase. USA and Western Europe account for 77% of the total volume and China and Japan are following the trend, the ingredients are also traversing in the same direction. Probiotics and fatty acids derivatives dominate this market along with herbal and non-herbal extracts.
Along with these, other ingredients like Asthaxanthin, Polyphenols from pomegranate, Glutathione and extracts of

Fig 3: County_wise Dominance

 

In case of such extracts high technology places a very important role in maintaining quality, safety and traceability as these are the two major corner stones in making ingredients further grow in this domain as well as in other industry domain.

Fig 4: Share of Nutraceutical ingredients

Innovations: Obviously, innovations which will improve bioavailability and also novel delivery system would further improve the differentiating factors for industry. From industry point of view the demand for right mix of different ingredients is also becoming more common as it becomes convenient for manufacturers to provide desire level quantity in safety, quality and traceability.

Fig 5: Three Corner Stone

IoT: Other way of looking at these applications and consumptions, primary source of information could be through internet of things as you can get direct feedback from consumers through what they say on social media and other digitally powerful media.

Fig 6: Internet Thing

Recent data from Nutraceutical world reveals that, 20 key health ingredients have already made head-way in the hearts of the consumers as they reveal what they feel.
Ingredients Journey: Being a fascinated journey from creating something in the laboratory and seeing as well as visualizing its ramifications on different industries for their applications give tremendous satisfaction and perhaps this may lead to quantum jump in business for few ingredients as it has already happened for lutein, spirulina, lycopene, vanillin, as all these ingredients have grown in different dimensions. It is a right way to say that unlike pharmaceutical active ingredients, natural active ingredients can be branded as they are multi-faceted.

References:

  • Nielsen report (2017) 
  • Interlink Knowledge Cel 
  • Nutraceutical ingredients, Specialty chemicals update program, IHS Markit, July 2017
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Role of Nutraceuticals in COVID-19 Pandemic

India’s 6 weeks lockdown has impacted Nutraceutical and Dietary supplements industry on multiple fronts. But COVID-19 makes everything different because people are really, first and foremost, concerned with their and their loved ones Physical health.

India has been declared as a country of Malnutrition and main reason for this situation is Hidden hunger! It is a lack of vitamins and minerals. The quality of food people eat does not meet their nutritional requirements as food is deficient in micronutrients.

In India almost 15% of the population is undernourished. These people may not have access to nutritious foods for one reason or another, so supplements can help fill gaps in their nutrition.

The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic can further deplete essential nutrients that the body needs to maintain health. So, although supplements have no direct effect on the COVID-19 virus itself, they can certainly help support overall health and wellness during this very stressful time.

Role of Health Supplements:

As everybody thinks of nourishing well on one side, however they also feel that they should improve their immunity to face this crisis of Corona. There are many nutraceutical ingredients which are useful for building and enhancing individual immunity.

The supplements for immunity and prevention have shown increase in the sales. In this list Ingredients like Vit D, Vit. C and Zinc are on the top. Even immune boosting products like Curcumin, Selenium and Probiotics products have been growing since the outbreak.
Along with these, other ingredients like Asthaxanthin, Polyphenols from pomegranate, Glutathione and extracts of Indian spices like Ginger and Garlic and are also considered to be important ingredients to build immunity.
In case of providing support in nutritional deficiencies, RDA based multivitamin/multi-mineral supplements are advisable to reduce the rate of acute respiratory infections, shortens the duration of flu-like symptoms and improves the rate of recovery.

Fig 1.1 Role of Health Supplements

Along with these there are few traditional herbs which may possess beneficial nutraceutical ingredients to boost immunity and shows anti-viral properties. Virgin coconut oil is one of those ingredients. The active ingredients like Luric acid and Monoluarin from Virgin Coconut oil have shown to be effective against viral infections. Also ingredients like Fucoidan have some immunomodulatory properties and reduce allergic responses and activate Natural Killer Cells and T cells.
Common Indian spice like Cinnamon Bark in the extracted form of compound IND02 has shown anti-viral properties against H1N1 and H3N2. But the anti-viral activities against COVID-19 need to be further studied and confirmed. Also ingredients like Luteolin, Apigenin, Quercetin and Chologenic acid have been studied to function as anti-viral. One of the major ingredients like Palmitoylethanolamide, present not only in egg yolk, but also in other foods, such as soy oil, peanut oil, and corn has shown anti-inflammatory action and symptomatic relief of flu symptoms.

In case of market response to this crisis has been phenomenal. As many of above mentioned ingredients and herbs are not only getting used as immune-boosting but also for preventing side effects. The demand of such products is increasing as per the awareness and knowledge of consumers. In India, even healthy snacks like protein bread has shown increased demand. The Indian start-up specialised in making protein bread and cookies has seen online sale go up by 15%.

Propagation of Integrated Medicines has been seen beautifully woven in this crisis period. Along with the modern medicines, the ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) sent out a new advisory to states suggesting “add-on traditional medicine interventions to conventional care”. The advisory suggests intake of Tulsi, Ginger, Guduchi (Tinspora cordifolia) and Turmeric in diet. Also use of Sesame oil along with inhalation of Eucalyptus oil is advised to lower the incidences of respiratory tract infections. Yet, efficacy of all ingredients is very important here, particularly in cases such as this, where many aspects of the virus are still unknown and claims need to be backed with clinical evidences.

Challenges for Nutra and Dietary Supplements Industry:

Some supplement categories could see sales declining. The ingredients like Ashwgandha, Lycopene, Lutein and segment of Sports Nutrition are likely to see lesser demand during this time.
Even supply chain is experiencing losses in terms of exports as most of the ports are closed. Likewise, most of the companies are facing supply chain disruptions. But there are chances that new channels may emerge!
The outbreak of COVID-19 has highlighted that businesses should adopt Hybrid Model. The Hybrid Model will encompass both in-person interaction and digital touch. This can include channels like online stores and adopting subscription models.
The use of Artificial Intelligence to trace and track entire value chain will be much useful and will be accepted by consumers for its efficiency and effectiveness. Video conferencing and digital friendly education platforms will be much useful to update the employees amidst the period of lockdown.
Common communication platform can be generated for all stakeholders that will help them to make business deals and trade purpose.

In this situation consumer awareness and consumer engagement will be a key to success and it can be done with the help of social media. As well as knowledge sharing can be used as a tool to engage and retain customer. And Subscription model will lead to expected growth in these volatile conditions.

References:
https://www.nutraingredients-asia.com/Article/2020/03/26/Eating-right-COVID-19-pumps-up-sales-for-India-s-protein-bread-maker?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright
https://www.nutraingredients-asia.com/Article/2020/03/31/India-s-COVID-19-lockdown-Dabur-Pure-Nutrition-and-Akay-weigh-in-on-economic-impacts?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright
https://www.msn.com/en-in/health/familyhealth/coronavirus-anti-viral-foods-to-build-immunity-and-keep-diseases-away/ar-BBZBkpa
https://www.nutraingredients-asia.com/Article/2020/04/06/Transform-to-survive-MLM-firms-LifeVantage-Herbalife-Amway-reveal-strategies-for-success-amid-COVID-19-disruptions

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FSSAI -Amendments

FSSAI has asked the FBO(Food Business Operator) to revalidate their existing and new products as per the notification dated on 23-12-2016.FBO are required to comply with the order by 1st Jan 2018.Scientific panel carefully considered the several representations received by stakeholders for their inclusion. Some ingredients have not been approved by FSSAI to be included in regulations due to-

  1. Safety
  2. Likely to exhibit properties of drugs
  3. Inadequate data
  4. Safety issue

Since some of the issues are yet to resolve , FSSSAI made following timelines for FBO:

  1. Ingredients and additives approved by FSSAI for inclusion:
    1. According to annexure I, the ingredients/additives which are approved by FSSAI for inclusion are given a time till 30th June 2018 for their reformulation
    2. In case of new permissible limit, FBO are given time for the period of six months from the date of revised/new formulation.
  2. Ingredients not approved by FSSAI for the inclusion due to inadequate data:
    1. The FBOs have given time to submit the data within 4 weeks from the date of issuance. For non- compliance, products containing such ingredients are to be withdrawn from the market immediately.
    2. Meanwhile, As per Annexure II, FBO are allowed to continue the food business of existing products.
  3. Ingredients not approved by FSSAI for safety reasons:
    1. FBO are directed to discontinue food business and withdraw the products containing ingredients namely ‘fluoride’ and ‘Potato protein isolate.
  4. Ingredients not approved by FSSAI since exhibiting drug like properties :
    1. FBOs are directed to discontinue the food business of products carrying drug-like ingredients namely ‘Willow Bark Extract’, ‘Pyrol Quinoline Quinone’ and ‘Lemon Bam’.
    2. For products already manufactured/imported are permitted to be sold till 30th June, 2018.
  5. FBOs are allowed to sell the formulation containing mere combinations of vitamins and minerals only up to one RDA in dosage formats such tablets, capsules and syrups for the period of 6 months or till the further order, whichever is earlier.
  6. As per Annexure lll, with respect to FSDU, FBOs be taken under medical advice are allowed to sell their existing formulations containing vitamins and minerals in food for special dietary uses without referring to the energy value(Kcal/K) for period of six months or till further orders, whichever is earlier.
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New Year Update by FSSAI on banned 14 Ingredients from Appendix I

Through directions issued on 31 December 2018 the FSSAI has clarified its decision regarding 14 ingredients listed under Appendix 1 of the Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Food and Novel Food) Regulations 2016 (Nutraceutical Regulations).

In continuation of the directions issued previously in June and August 2018, the FSSAI has further decided on the following:

FBOs are allowed to continue to use the ingredient namely ‘Vitamin D3’ from lichen (Cladonia rangiferina) as a veg source in the existing products covered under the Nutraceutical Regulations, till such time the proposed amendment of the Nutraceutical Regulations are finalized and notified.

FBOs are directed to discontinue the use of ingredient namely Raspberry ketone, Silica, Angelica Sinensis, Chlorella growth factor, Chaga extract, Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) in the products covered under Nutraceutical Regulations with immediate effect as no additional information has been provided by the applicant. No further manufacturing of products containing these ingredients is allowed. However, any such products containing these ingredients which are already manufactured/ imported under the aforesaid regulations before 29 June 2018 are allowed to be sold only up to a period of 30 days from the date of this direction.

FBOs are directed to discontinue the use of ingredients namely ‘Oxalobacter Formigenes’in the products covered under the Nutraceutical Regulations with immediate effect since they exhibit properties of a drug and no further manufacturing of products using these ingredients is allowed. However, any such products containing these ingredients which are already manufactured/ imported under the aforesaid regulations before 29 June 2018 are allowed to be sold only up to a period of 30 days from the date of this direction.

FBOs are directed to discontinue the use of ingredients namely Paullinia cupana(Gaurana), Saw Palmetto, Notoginseng, Pine bark extract from Pinus radiata, Pine bark extract from Pinus pinaster in the products covered under the Nutraceutical Regulations with immediate effect due to lack of adequate data such as history of safe usage in India for 15 years and also the specific advantage of these plants over the already listed India plants/ botanicals. No further manufacturing of products using these ingredients is allowed. However, any such products containing these ingredients which are already manufactured/ imported under the aforesaid regulations before 29 June 2018 are allowed to be sold up to a period of 30 days from the date of this direction.

Based on the clarification provided by FBO that phytavail iron is mustard powder from Brassica juncea, which is already covered under Schedule IV of the Nutraceutical Regulations, it has been decided that no specific inclusion is required and the ingredient mustard powder can be continued to be used in products covered under the Nutraceutical Regulations subject to compliance with the aforementioned regulations.

Further, FBOs are allowed to continue the food business of existing formulations containing mere combinations of vitamins and minerals only up to one RDA in dosage formats such as tablets, capsules, and syrups for a period of three months from the date of this direction or till further orders whichever is earlier.

Reference:

https://foodsafetyhelpline.com/2018/08/fssai-issues-new-directions/

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Selling Wellness

Throughout the world, marketers are becoming more focussed on health. Be it energy, auto, chemicals or food, the focus is shifting to health and sustainability. Greater thrust on non-fossil energy sources, or cola majors moving from traditional beverages to health-based foods and beverages, are visible signs of the shift.

Pharma companies the world over, as also in India, are not far behind. Most are diversifying from chemical-based medicines into nutraceutical and wellness products. Today, most major Indian pharma companies have a nutraceutical or wellness division that produces supplements, ayurvedic & herbal products, fortified foods & beverages, functional foods, probiotic foods, energy drinks, etc. Research has shown that nutraceuticals are good for prevention of diseases, post-disease recovery, curbing deficiencies, supplementing nutrients and minerals, and better management of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Thus, nutraceuticals reduce the ill-effects of consuming pharmaceuticals. The companies are pitching for nutraceutical products with allopathic doctors too.

The awareness about the benefits of nutraceuticals is growing fast. Within a short span of 10-15 years, the annual domestic nutraceutical market has grown to Rs 30,000 crore, compared with the Rs 1,30,000 crore pharmaceutical market. According to Assocham, the nutraceutical market is expected to cross Rs 1,15,000 crore in the next 7-10 years. In addition to pharma companies, pure play domestic and international nutraceutical companies would also like to participate in this market with their unique plant-based products.

As these products are regulated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, pricing is not an issue. There is also no person like a medical professional to take decision on behalf of a consumer and each person has the liberty to choose what he or she wants.

New Models in Digital Era

There will be a splash of online business models. We anticipate successful tie-ups between nutraceutical companies and established teams of nutritionists and dieticians for guiding consumers on the nutraceutical intake. We will also see start-ups becoming active with their apps and gadgets. Subscription-based models are expected to meet success and there will be specific packages for specific illnesses/conditions. Some of the models are as follows.

Wellness clinic model: Here, at a fixed rate of, say, Rs 3,000, a person will be able to take a package of benefits that includes nutritionist visits, health check-ups, diagnostic tests, disease management awareness programmes, etc.

Push model: The customer will be able to visit a nutritionist/dietician for six months by paying a subscription fee.

Conversational model: A customer will be able to converse with nutritionist/dietician through an app by paying a monthly amount.

Instant visit model: You could visit a nutritionist without waiting by paying a monthly subscription fee.

New Models in Digital Era

There will be a splash of online business models. We anticipate successful tie-ups between nutraceutical companies and established teams of nutritionists and dieticians for guiding consumers on the nutraceutical intake. We will also see start-ups becoming active with their apps and gadgets. Subscription-based models are expected to meet success and there will be specific packages for specific illnesses/conditions. Some of the models are as follows.

Wellness clinic model: Here, at a fixed rate of, say, Rs 3,000, a person will be able to take a package of benefits that includes nutritionist visits, health check-ups, diagnostic tests, disease management awareness programmes, etc.

Push model: The customer will be able to visit a nutritionist/dietician for six months by paying a subscription fee.

Conversational model: A customer will be able to converse with nutritionist/dietician through an app by paying a monthly amount.

Instant visit model: You could visit a nutritionist without waiting by paying a monthly subscription fee.

Other Gimmicks for Marketing

Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AI): There will be an opportunity for brand owners to be closer to consumers through VR headsets and make it a more engaging, interactive and personal experience. AR can help with blending of virtual objects such as brand image into something full of movement and wonder.

Phygital Marketing: In phygital, or physical + digital, a brand interacts with a customer in a physical location. Digital enhances the physical experience.

Referral & influencer marketing: A lot of nutra companies will use influencers to promote products on social media.

FMCG model: There will be promotions using coupons, contests, gifts.

Public relations (PR) & user generated content (UGC) marketing: Analysts predict good growth through PR and user generated content such as comments, reviews and images on social media. According to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92 per cent consumers trust UGC more than advertising as the former is not paid.

Multi-level marketing: The traditional Amway method is here to stay

Online marketing: Leverage of the good old online marketing through e-mail, social media, display advertising and search engine optimisation.

The writer is CMD, Interlink Marketing Consultancy, and Hon Secretary, HADSA

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