India is poised to be a $10 trillion economy by 2030. There also exist opportunities to enable and empower industries that have inherent powers to contribute to economy. One such industry is nutraceuticals that stand alone can contribute $100 billion by 2030.
Currently, global nutraceutical market is $400 billion. Around 60% of this is in the USA and India currently stands at 2%. India with current contribution of $8 billion has immediate capability to ramp up to $40 billion by 2024 if basic tweaks in policies and supports are given to this industry.
To set the context, let’s first understand that nutraceutical is a specialized industry where nutrition is designed with evidence based health outcomes as key focus. The ingredients of the nutraceuticals come from plant sources, biotechnology, and animals. India has a head start with Ayurveda. India has 7000 plants that contribute to medicines/ nutraceuticals and 1200 plants are actively traded. To make a sense of what each plant could contribute to is to take a look at success story of Ashwagandha and Curcumin.
Both plant sources have been there in use in traditional Indian medicine, but they did not have compelling story for global believability. Both plant sources took to global focus when their value was validated through modern science backed by clinical trials.
Today Curcumin and Ashwagandha combined together commands over $278 million globally. Imagine if we could go through same exercise to 1200 actively traded plants. Even if we target top 20, we are looking at around $8 billion. With focus of only 20 ingredients being added a year into scientific validation, India can look forward to contribute about $30 billion purely from plants.
The US market access
India enjoys one of the best relations with USA. However the support from government to create exposure to Indian nutraceutical innovators is missing.
The challenges that’s resisting the nutraceutical powerhouse of India are that there is no dedicated industry body, no HSN codes- Industry under pressure to comply to irrelevant HSN codes, no dedicated regulatory authority, no educational infrastructure, no incentive, grants and investment programs and no support to internationalization of nutra industry
Some key areas that can come up as solution for business empowerment are internationalization initiatives like the UNPA-India Initiative, empowering Shefexil and its industry promotion program, solving biodiversity confusions, policy for HSN codes, policy for Industry specific PLI schemes, creation of Industry specific Investment tools, incorporating under National Medicinal Plans, identifying top 10 products to focus on- for global leadership, regulatory and human resource capacity building, rewrite/edit Indian Ayurveda Pharmacopoeia, setting up FSSAI nutraceutical policies and the way its processed and academia collaboration for giving space to innovations.
A nutraceutical or ‘bioceutical’ is a pharmaceutical alternative which claims physiological benefits. In the US, “nutraceuticals” are largely unregulated, as they exist in the same category as dietary supplements and food additives by the FDA, under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
“Nutraceutical” is a substance that may be considered a food or part of a food which provides medical or health benefits, encompassing prevention and treatment of disease. Products as diverse as isolated nutrients, dietary supplements and diets to genetically engineered “designer” foods, herbal products, and processed foods (cereals, soups, beverages) may be included under the umbrella of nutraceuticals. In India, nutraceuticals have been defined under Clause 22 of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006. This chapter describes the role of nutraceuticals in health and how they are different from functional foods and dietary supplements.
Examples of nutraceuticals are natural foods, including antioxidants, dietary supplements, fortified dairy products, and citrus fruits, and vitamins, minerals, herbals, milk, and cereals. To enhance the efficacy of nutraceuticals, delivery systems are greatly needed to protect nutraceuticals from the harsh conditions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Drug delivery systems using nanotechnology, such as biocompatible polymers, hold promise for the field of pharmaceutical science, as they offer tools and nanostructured materials that deliver therapeutic drugs for treating diseases successfully. Like drug delivery systems, several delivery systems have been designed for nutraceutical delivery, including smart polymers that are stimuli responsive.