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SECTOR WATCH Processing

Health foods

Adding value, aiding wellbeing Various dietary supplements like vitamins & minerals can be used to enrich conventional foods and improve their nutritive value. Interestingly, a steady rise has been noted in the demand for such foods and products, which has helped in the rapid growth of the health foods sector.

Dr J S Pai

F

oods are known to contain components that are beneficial to health. Vitamins at higher levels are needed to prevent deficiency diseases. Fibre providing benefits against colon cancer, probiotics promoting gut health, etc are some of the examples that were known for quite some time. Some of the ancient health sciences including the Indian system of Ayurveda had already shown benefits of some of the herbs and spices. Last few decades have produced a good amount of evidence of the health benefits of such ingredients in foods. The term nutraceutical was coined by combining ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’ to emphasise the medical benefit of nutrient or food ingredient. With the healthcare costs rising alarmingly, the idea of delivering medical benefits or at least preventive benefits through food sounded quite attractive to consumers. The steady rise in the demand for such foods and products has created a rapidly growing

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Modern Food Processing | January 2011

sector in the food industry. According to PricewaterhouseCooper, nutrition and wellness market is estimated to reach $ 290 billion by 2015. By then in India, the health and wellness foods market may reach ` 55,000 crore, as estimated by Tata Strategic Management Group.

Developing food products When making food products, ingredients rich in substances with beneficial physiological effects (eg, nutraceuticals) may be selected or these substances may be added in isolation from their rich sources. Most of these substances are highly reactive and if they degrade during processing, storage, etc their effectiveness would reduce. When such foods are produced and marketed with claims of health benefits, these need to be supported by evidence from scientific studies conducted to show that such benefits accrue upon the intake of such functional food or dietary supplements. Hence, there are certain steps that need to be followed before commercialising such foods in the market.

Modern Food Processing - January 2011  

‘MODERN FOOD PROCESSING’ is the leading monthly business magazine in India exclusively for the food processing industry. It covers the lates...

Modern Food Processing - January 2011  

‘MODERN FOOD PROCESSING’ is the leading monthly business magazine in India exclusively for the food processing industry. It covers the lates...

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