“New regulation provides spectrum of regulatory clarity making approval process stringent”

Dr Baidyanath Mishra, recently joined Katra Phytochem, a Bangalore  based nutraceutical ingredients company as its Vice-President, Product Development, Regulatory and Medical affairs. Before joining Katra Group, Dr Mishra was Chief Scientific Officer, at Olive Life Sciences at Bangalore. Dr Mishra started his career as faculty and worked for five years at different ayurvedic colleges. Then he worked for eight years at The Himalaya Drug Company at different positions at research and development and at Natural Remedies as head, regulatory affairs. Dr Mishra, an expert in food regulation, contributing articles for Journal of Food Technologist of India (CFTRI, Mysore) publication and reviewer for journals, including Hindwai publications, USA, that caters to various international journals. In an interaction, Dr Mishra shared his thoughts about issues before the nutraceuticals industry and his suggestions. Excerpts:

How do you see the growth of nutraceuticals market in India?

There is an excellent market potential for nutraceuticals in India. The market is showing a continuous growth since 2006 with a CAGR of 18.90 % till 2010 and after that its growth is showing upwards with 26.95% when compared between 2009 & 2010. Sports nutrition is showing a big demand for last couple of years.
It is also observed from various market research communications from reputed brands that, in food supplement category, the majority share is held by herbal food products and supplements, closely following functional digestives. It is very difficult to conform the market shares at this point due to lack of proper search channel.

What are major challenges the industry is facing?

The industry, which is emerging rapidly, also passes through various challenges and threats. Though challenges can be multifocal, it includes lack of clarity in regulatory system, centralization of approval process — thus delay in approvals affecting business by Food Business Operators (FBOs), poor awareness among the implementers, minimal access for modernization, higher taxation etc.

In what way do you feel the new Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 will help the industry?

Implementation of FSSAI Act is really welcome for our growth and top up with our quality and access in international clients and markets. This new regulation, perhaps, may be one of the ideal one where it provides a wide spectrum of regulatory clarity making approval process stringent thus providing confidence among global consumers where there is a clear distinction of use of ingredients between drug and food unlike other softer approval process in some of the leading countries.

Your suggestions to overcome issues before the industry.

My suggestion would be “provide cut-edging technology in processing, provide a clear cut traceability mechanism, proper implementation of food safety management system in every premises, consumer friendly promotions with proved claims, encourage clinical trial proven health beneficial or disease reduction claims, and the most crucial, to provide best of the best products within reach of common people.

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