Updated on 5 July 2014
The global market of nutraceuticals is growing on account of growth in the dietary supplement segment
Singapore: Nutraceutical, a portmanteau of the words "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical", is a food or food product that provides health and medical benefits, including the prevention and treatment of diseases. The term nutraceutical was originally defined by Dr Stephen L DeFelice, founder and chairman of Foundation of Innovation Medicine (FIM), Crawford, New Jersey. Nutraceutical foods are not subject to the same testing and regulations as pharmaceutical drugs.
In addition, many botanical and herbal extracts such as ginseng, garlic oil, etc. have been developed as nutraceuticals. These are often used in nutrient premixes or nutrient systems in the food and pharmaceutical industries. There is minimal regulation over which products are allowed to displayed under the term
nutraceuticals, on their labels. Because of this, the term is often used to market products with varying uses and effectiveness.
The definition of nutraceuticals and related products often depends on the source. Members of the medical community require that the term 'nutraceutical' should be more clearly established in order to distinguish between the wide varieties of products out there.
The preference for the discovery and production of nutraceuticals over pharmaceuticals is well seen in pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Some of the pharmaceutical and biotech companies, which commit major resources to the discovery of nutraceuticals include Monsanto, American Home Products, Dupont, Abbott Laboratories, Warner Lambert, Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, Metabolex, Genzyme Transgenic, PPL Therapeutics, and Interneuron.
Global market scenario