Filling the gap: Experts seek to boost knowledge of ingredient science and functions in India’s nutra sector

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

The Ultimate Compendium Of Nutraceuticals was launched on 16th February 2023 at Vitafoods India.
The Ultimate Compendium Of Nutraceuticals was launched on 16th February 2023 at Vitafoods India.

Related tags Expert Nutraceutical Advocacy Council India

There can be lack of knowledge in the functions and scientific evidence of nutraceuticals across India’s health supplements sector, says an industry advocacy group which is hoping to resolve the problem with the launch of a compendium.

The issue became more prominent when the Indian authorities were drafting the product approval process for nutraceuticals about 10 years ago, said Sandeep Gupta, chief founder and director of the Expert Nutraceutical Advocacy Council (ENAC).

This has sparked the idea of working on a nutraceutical compendium to mitigate the challenge.

“There has been a lot of different information floating around for a single nutraceutical ingredient. It was a very complex situation for the regulator to form a perfect set of information,” ​he told NutraIngredients-Asia.

“There was no process in place as to what kind of information should be accepted and compounded together in the regulation. At that time, various stakeholders were going to the regulator and sharing information in different fashion…It was a huge challenge to standardise the flow and process of information.

“At that time, it was decided that the regulations will be formed, let the process proceed. But one day, we would definitely be able to form a compendium, although it will be a slow, gradual process.”

At the inaugural Vitafoods India held in New Delhi between February 16 and 17, the book “The Ultimate Compendium of Nutraceuticals” was unveiled by Padma Shri Vaidya Rajesh Kotechaji, secretary of the Ministry of AYUSH. 

Sandeep Gupta with his book
Sandeep Gupta is the chief editor and author of The Ultimate Compendium of Nutraceuticals

AYUSH is a government ministry tasked with the revival and propagation of ayurvedic and other traditional systems of Indian medicines.

Co-authored by Gupta and Dr. Anish Desai, chief of ENAC and honorary professor of pharmaceutical medicine at Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, the book covers 21 nutraceutical ingredients, such as ashwagandha, astaxanthin, coenzyme Q10, melatonin, collagen, fenugreek, omega-3, zinc, and vitamin C.

Information on the ingredients’ history, clinical studies evidence and functions are available in the book. The sources of information were sieved from key sources such as scientific journals database and nutraceutical ingredient suppliers.

Gupta added that the ingredients were selected based on their level of popularity of use across the global markets.

Aside from the nutraceutical industry, the book is also designed for the public who wants to know more about functional ingredients. The book is currently available on Amazon India at 7,999 rupees (US$96.80).

Moving forward, Gupta said ENAC will be launching the next edition by the end of year 2023. 

The upcoming edition will focus on novel ingredients, such as pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and MitoQ – an enhanced form of coenzyme Q10 that has been made smaller and given a positive charge developed by researchers based in New Zealand.

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