Malnutrition is proactively building its nexus in India and as per the recent reports by World Health Organisation (WHO), malnutrition is highest in India among mothers and children. DSM India, one of the leading suppliers of vitamins, carotenoids, Omega-3 & 6 nutritional lipids, nutraceutical ingredients and nutritional premixes, has taken the batten to flush off malnutrition from the country.
DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.
The company has been supporting the government’s efforts with its ‘POSHAN Card’ programme to combat malnutrition amongst mothers and children.
In an exclusive interview with NuFFooDS Spectrum’s Nitin Konde, Ajit Damle, Head South Asia, Human Nutrition Health Business, DSM sheds light on company’s future plans and the potential of Indian Nutraceuticals market.
How do you see Asian nutraceutical market, does it have the potential to compete with the west?
We can refer to multiple sources that highlight a robust double digit growth of Indian nutraceuticals market which is likely to reach anywhere between $5-10billion by 2020. We certainly are witnessing signs of this projection. The growth trajectory of Asian / Indian nutraceuticals market is quite dynamic, interesting and challenging. With its strong roots in traditional herbs and Ayurveda, the Asian market certainly shows promising potential to complement and also compete with the west. It is exciting to see this region to have wisely embraced the west while fervently nurturing traditional medicinal practices.
You have been backing the Indian government in POSHAN Card programme to combat malnutrition. Can you elaborate on how you are helping the government in that regard?
The POSHAN Project is a national initiative under the aegis of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) in partnership with Government of India. Other partners include United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). The project is supported by DSM and Vodafone. POSHAN focuses on creating awareness about the symptoms and alarming consequences of malnutrition, simple things that can be done to address malnutrition, and bring about a change in the behavior and attitude among women in the reproductive age group of 20-35 years in selected districts. DSM is leveraged for our expertise in nutrition solutions by equipping frontline health workers (AWWs) with a set of ‘POSHAN’ health educational videos on microSD card with aims of providing direct access to information through mobile phones.
You are also focusing on fortifying ingredients. Do you think in a country like India where malnutrition rate is on the higher side among kids and mothers, fortification is the perfect tool to overcome this issue?
Fortification is one of the effective ways and an important intervention to address malnutrition. Fortification of staple helps to take the benefit of nutrition to the mass. Fortifying atta (wheat flour), rice, edible oil, salt, milk, etc. with essential micronutrients is important. However, the success of fortification depends greatly on its implementation and execution. It is not a whole sole responsibility of the government.
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