How’s the fructooligosaccharides market in India and what are your plans to promote this space?
From 2020-2026 the global Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are predicted to have a healthy growth rate of more than 5 per cent. From $2696.3 million in 2020, the market size is expected to reach $3613.3 million by 2026.
The pandemic has propelled growth in health awareness and the number of fitness clubs in India. This is expected to drive the market over the next few years. Moreover, the high ubiquity of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, gut problems, and rickets will be a beneficial factor in pushing the product demand. Additionally, the increase in R&D expenditure by various companies for the development of a nutritional formula and rising application of FOS as a key functional ingredient in dairy, Indian sweets, bakery, nutritional food and beverages, and confectionaries are some of the key factors.
We plan to obtain additional regulatory clearances across Europe, China, Australia, and New Zealand to promote the awareness of FOSSENCE, an ideal ingredient for sugar replacement/reduction. We are planning to grow and leverage the global distribution network for customer engagements and application-based sales in F&B and nutrition segments.
What is your manufacturing capacity for FOS-based products? How much has been invested so far?
Our state-of-the-art facility in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, includes whole-cell fermentation facilities and is designated for prebiotics, with expansion plans in various products starting with insulin which is a polymer of fructose and other fermentation-based prebiotics. The processes at the site are scaled up by using fermenters ranging from 50 litres to 50,000 litres. We have invested above Rs 300 crore which includes provisions for future expansions as well.
What are Tata Chemicals’ plans for the Indian nutritional market, five years down the line?
As a company, we are inspired by wholesome well-being. We believe that it begins with every healthy choice we make, leading to a healthy body, mind, and environment. Beginning with our focus on healthy gut - where trillions of microorganisms coexist within the host and play a pivotal role in overall health. From sugar reduction to fibre addition, our soluble prebiotic finds use in multiple applications across food and beverages, supplements, and baby foods. Our food-tech experts are always around the corner to help with formulation support.
Furthermore, we plan to commercialise skincare application for prebiotics, backed by encouraging results from clinical studies, and enhance our value-added prebiotics portfolio. Other plans involve the development of synergistically acting symbiotics for immunity, long-chain oligofructose, and enzyme encapsulation technology with better thermo-stability to enhance feed shelf life. Also, we will continue the qualification process to win global key accounts for replacement opportunities and new product development.
FOSSENCE and GOSSENCE are our flagship products; these are prebiotic dietary fibres that stimulate the gut microbiome beneficially, thus enhancing digestive and immune health. Recently, we launched formulations for the poultry industry that have been readily accepted and are witnessing sustained volume growth. The company’s expertise in fermentation technology, enabling production using the whole-cell route, is also opening up opportunities in other human nutrition segments.
Also, our partnership with Indian and global academic institutions and research bodies to further understand the gut microbiota and related health effects are helping the company build a leadership position in this space.