Bridging the knowledge gap: Indian association ENAC sets up post-graduate nutraceutical course with tertiary institutions

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sandeep Gupta (right), the director of Expert Nutraceutical Advocacy Council and Global Nutraceutical Expert, signs an MoU with Dr Priya Rao, the principal of Pravara Rural College of Pharmacy to mark their cooperation on launching the post-graduate diploma course in food technology and nutraceuticals.
Sandeep Gupta (right), the director of Expert Nutraceutical Advocacy Council and Global Nutraceutical Expert, signs an MoU with Dr Priya Rao, the principal of Pravara Rural College of Pharmacy to mark their cooperation on launching the post-graduate diploma course in food technology and nutraceuticals.

Related tags: Education, Knowledge, Training

Indian trade organisation the Expert Nutraceutical Advocacy Council (ENAC) will run a one-year post-graduate diploma course in food technology and nutraceuticals with tertiary institutions in India, to bridge the gap between industrial needs and academic curriculum.

The SIES College of Arts Science and Commerce (SIESCASC) and the Pravera College of Pharmacy are expected to run the course from June this year. SIESCASC will be providing 20 placements, while the batch size for Pravera College has not yet been confirmed. 

Students will need to have at least a degree in Life Sciences or Pharmaceuticals to study the course.

ENAC will be designing and co-certifying the course along with the participating institutions “as per the needs of the industry and the nation” ​so as to further develop the sector and “bring India to the next level when it comes to nutraceutical supplement”​, according to ENAC director Sandeep Gupta.

Gupta told NutraIngredients-Asia​ that the course would focus on the basic principles of food and nutrition, the benefits of supplements to human health, touch on food safety and regulations aspects such as food microbiology.

Industry experts from renowned MNCs, such as Danone, will join the course as guest lecturers to provide industry insights, while existing teachers would be retrained and equipped with the latest industry knowledge.

Students are also required to handle projects in developing new product ideas and concepts. There are also industrial visits planned for the students.

“The nutrition and nutraceutical industry is rapidly growing across the globe and in India,”​he said.

“However, there is a gap when it comes to academic institutions. We find that institutions do not have much knowledge and are not well associated with the nutraceutical industry. They just conduct a short course, or rather, a crash course or a certificate program (for students on nutraceuticals),” ​Gupta said.  

“The objectives of ENAC is to partner with institutions and academics…This is going to be an unconventional course. With the advanced information, students can know what’s happening in the industry.”

Lack of real-world knowledge

The issue with the current education framework, was that students lacked real-world knowledge on how the nutraceutical industry worked, Gupta pointed out.

“Students don’t have the actual background on what the industry needs. They don’t have the knowledge on why the industry needs to work within the stringent framework of regulations.

“They just learn theories in life sciences, they just learn the basic science, they don’t know the applications, its implications, and how science can be used for innovation, so this is not a conventional course. This is an advanced information course.”

Reaching more colleges

There are also plans to introduce the one year post-graduate diploma course in more colleges. 

“We are trying to reach as many institutions for more students to have more opportunities. Here, the institutes are giving the preference to students from their own colleges, moving forward, they are going to increase the number of placements and they may even accept students from other colleges.

 ​To reach out to more colleges, he said that there were plans to run a road show every fortnight, where the team will propose the course idea to the school’s management, he added.

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