Claims pertaining to nutraceuticals need regulation


An intensive discussion was carried out at the Spectrum Dialogues platform regarding the claims being used for functional foods in our country. The interactive session was moderated by Dr. Vilas Shirhatti, Advisor, Envirocare Laboratories, at the conference held on the subject ‘Nutraceutical Regulating for Growth’ on 5 October, 2017 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.


“There are many classes of functional foods such as pro- and pre-biotics, dietary fiber, low fat, etc., and their definition is occasionally confused with that of nutraceuticals and novel foods. Consumers’ main skepticism regarding functional foods resides in the veracity of health claims and in the low and often inadequate control of their claimed properties”, said Dr. Vilas Shirhatti.


Dr. S K Sharma, Chairperson, Scientific Panel, FSSAI, highlighted the genuine health benefits and claims of seasonal and traditional foods. He asserted that preserving traditional food is very important for our country in order to maintain its heritage. But a modern blend of science is required to upgrade the knowledge of traditional food without diluting the main principles.


This thought was carried forward by Mr. Vaibhav Kulkarni, Director, Abbott Nutrition Regulatory Affairs, who spoke about the corporate aspect of developing product claims. “There is a detailed global process of developing and pre-approving new claims for new and existing products. It is imperative to maintain a world-class culture of ethics, compliance and safety for people and products using highest standards of scientific practice and ethical behaviour”, he added.


Dr. Akanksha, Corporate Regulatory Affairs, OmniActive Health Technologies, concluded the session explaining the diversity in global regulations. “Disease risk reduction claim established by international standard setting body the Codex Alimentarius are generally not permitted in Asia. However, these claims are used in northern Asian countries that have established regulations for functional food. However, a health claims regulatory environment is evolving and significant changes in the next 5 years are expected.”

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