The demand for nutraceutical products has increased in recent years, resulting in a remarkable compound annual growth of 20 percent over the past three years, experts working in the area of natural biopolymers said on Friday.
This trend is driven by increasing health awareness among the public and a growing emphasis on preventive healthcare.
Projections indicate that the nutraceutical market in India will expand from an estimated $4 billion to an impressive $18 billion by the end of 2025, the experts said at a workshop organised by the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) under the Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy at the institute.
They said the increasing demand for nutraceutical products is an indication of the need to utilise untapped natural resources.
CMFRI Director Dr A. Gopalakrishnan stressed the urgent need to explore marine organisms to unearth novel bioactive compounds capable of addressing unmet medical needs and propelling the frontiers of healthcare.
“CMFRI’s nutraceutical products from the seaweeds to treat various lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis, hypertension, thyroid have received an overwhelming response from the public. The institute will continue to explore the medicinal prospects of such marine organisms,” he said.
He also pointed out that efforts are required to tap the immense potential of natural resources like marine organisms for the development of innovative pharmaceutical products.
The workshop was aimed at sharing the latest information and technologies related to the isolation, characterisation and development of natural biopolymers with pharmaceutical applications.
Principal Scientist, Dr Kajal Chakraborty, said the development of value-added products from marine organisms such as seaweeds not only provide health benefits to consumers but also create opportunities for the downstream value chain.
“Natural biopolymers such as proteins, polysaccharides and nucleic acids hold great promise in the field of medicine,” she said.