The Ministry of Health’s Food Safety Standards Authority of India has come out with quality and safety standards to regulate the standards and quality of health supplements, nutraceuticals, food (special dietary care, medicinal purpose, functional food and novel foods) and has sought public comments on the same. The effective date for the new rules is November 24.
Dr DBA Narayana, a leading scientist and industry expert told use of medicinal plants both as drugs and foods are now gaining importance. “The future of pharma and healthcare will focus considerably on natural based products. We will see functional foods and products for special dietary care, food for medicinal purpose, and novel foods that will target wellness to dominate the prescription landscape. This is an age of preventive healthcare and there students of botany and pharmacognosy who will now be able to part of the Indian herbal and food industry just as the government puts into effect the latest nutraceuticals regulation “
The pharma industry sees that specializations in plant medicine or pharmacognosy and botany to gain considerable traction as new career openings. Pharmacognosy deals with drugs obtained from plants or other natural sources are now a part of the pharmacy curriculum. In the wake of the immediate implementation of the regulations, there will be a need to scout for candidates in this specialisations, noted industry observers.
V Hariharan, chief executive officer and managing director, Phytotech Extracts and president, (HEMA), said that the sector has a promising future as it rides on India’s strengths in ancient herbal medicine and food supplements.
Increase in use of health and dietary formulations and with these new dedicated regulations not just pharmacy students but those armed with degrees in botany and pharmacognosy should be equipped with the necessary skills to carry out their responsibilities in this field. In recent FSSAI proposes new rules for health supplement mislabelling.
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