Infrastructure, capacity building needed for Nutra industry to grow


The need for boost to Nutraceutical industry lies in the fact of making large number of the products in India where one has the raw material and at the same time the biodiversity which allows a great deal of opportunity in this field. But there are a number of bottlenecks that can hamper this and many a times these are not just regulatory bottlenecks but beyond that which happens to be basically the infrastructure and the resource capacity building. What does one mean by this?

When we look at human resource for IT and BT and to a large extent either in engineering or medical field, we have a tremendous advantage of number games of supporting staff and for the entire platform. When it comes to areas like pharmaceuticals, there are academic courses, there are human resource training systems and technical aspects are well oiled into the system of production of wonderfully trained human resource and very high level manufacturing systems and analytical systems.

When we look at such a similarity in nutraceuticals and today to a certain extent in ayurceuticals except for a few here and there manufacturers who have themselves equipped with the basic infrastructure. This sometimes is minimal and they hire mostly chemists and sometimes biologists and sometimes engineers to produce the product of Nutra. It is here that we require formal courses, infrastructure of very high standards compared to many countries in terms of analytical expertise, risk assessments and finger printing using basic biology as well as DNA mapping in terms of traceability issue on the one side and in terms of using the authentic raw material on the other side. This should also match with farms which grow these herbals in large quantities. Today the forest produce is harvested and sold but this will not last long. Therefore just like the tea gardens and the coffee gardens, India has the potential to grow herbals in large farms supported by government on the one side and triggered by the industry and induced agriculture on the other side. It is this combination that will put India onto the leadership map making it much more impactful industries and the regulators than many other regions and countries.

However, what is also important is the knowledge base. It is not the mixing of two ingredients that will create a product, but it is the networking of knowledge that creates a product. It is this knowledge base which needs to be nurtured from a basic ayurvedic practitioner all the way to a modern allopathic doctor and the synergy between modern infrastructure of LC MSMS all the way to the traditional knowledge which India has built about over 5,000 years ago and need to be integrated. It is this integration that will pave way for a better knowledge wherein from the reverse Genomics on the one side, where the population has distilled knowledge over number of years, we should look at the Advantage India to ensure that infrastructure of the traditional wisdom and the modern chemistry that shall make the difference. If we do not use it today I think we would be in a big loss for tomorrow. If not many others in the globe would catch it fast before India opens up its eyes. This is a very great area for investment and I think it is here that the joint ventures, the investment by the banking sector and the financial wizards must play a major role in ensuring that we have several preventive foods for diseases on the one hand and many curative on the other hand. And the third sector which is very special in this country may be delaying the diseases through foods even though it is prone to genetics. But, perhaps with proper Food Planning and Design one can delay the onset of the disease by a clear 10-20 years and why not?

This is where we have to invest and this is where the country will have a right path for nutraceuticals to Make in India if not there can be a huge plethora of products which will be made outside India and shall flow into India. Sometimes it may be true that a balance between the two will create a healthy economy but not necessarily that this will happen because of lack of capacity building, infrastructure building and no knowledge of integration and the isolation of one system of medicine by the other. This would never work in the long run because it is ultimately the knowledge networking that will create a healthy society. The doctors have a major role to play, the engineers have much more role to play, the scientists and technologists, regulators, including the administrators all have to play an important role of integration, if we have to march in this area and become global leader. We are blessed with raw material but that is not enough. Therefore a Nuthinking into a NuFFooDS process with the addition of Distilled Science (DS) will make the NuFFooDS tomorrow a reality.

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