Medicine Food

How global market is responding to this segment of medicinal foods?

A report by a market research firm, estimates a healthy growth rate of 6.3% for rapidly growing global nutraceutical market, over 2017-2022, and the market is estimated to be valued at294.79 billion, by 2022 end.

Developed countries are investing heavily in R&D, pertaining to the general well-being of their fellow citizens, along with the sharp rise in medical expenses, to tackle chronic and lifestyle diseases. Preventive approach to health has been the rising trend globally, with developing countries meeting their public health targets, and consistently increasing the proportion of GDP allotted for the healthcare sector.

Nutraceuticals are increasingly becoming a part of the daily diet, owing to the rising incidences of lifestyle diseases, improved standards of living, and inadequate nutritional intake – lack of balance diets. Increasing mortality rates, in developing countries, due to inadequate nutrition, is making nutraceuticals the ‘must-have’ component in daily diet.

Nutraceuticals are broadly segmented into, dietary supplements and functional food & beverage. The latter occupies approximately 60% of the market share globally, owing to its ease of availability, and natural presence in most diets consumed worldwide.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific has been largest market for nutraceuticals, with dietary supplements and functional food being increasingly recommended by dieticians and physicians. Dietary supplements segment of the nutraceutical industry leads the Asia- Pacific market, while the functional foods segment is growing at a fast pace.

The worldwide trend of increasing health consciousness, rising public demand of organic & natural products, sedentary lifestyles in socio-economic scenario, rising prevalence of chronic diseases, and favorable governments support, is expected to boost the global nutraceutical market in near future.

Globally, the major watchdogs and their bylaws regulating and monitoring the nutraceuticals market are:
– Codex Alimentarius of FAO and WHO
– Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of USFDA
– Functional Food Science in Europe (FUFOSE)
– Foods For Specified Health Use (FOSHU) in Japan
– Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 in India

The main hurdles for market are; Different regulatory bodies around the world have different approaches to nutraceuticals. For example, in Japan, functional foods are defined according to their use of natural ingredients. On the other hand, functional foods in the US usually contain ingredients that are products of biotechnology. The discrepancy, pertaining to the global nutraceuticals market, needs to be synchronized and standardized, to have a general consensus on the framework dealing with its – processing, export-import, packaging, and subsequent storage.