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15th CII Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Digital Summit 16th Dec 2020


Leveraging Innovation in Food Safety for nutrition and Wellness Foods”


Hexagon Nutrition collaborated with the CII Food & Agriculture Centre of Excellence & FSSAI for the 15th CII Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Digital Summit on 16th December 2020.


Our Group Managing Director Vikram Kelkar moderated an enlightening virtual session on “Leveraging Innovation in Food Safety for Nutrition and Wellness Foods”

The session was kickstarted by Ms. Indrani Ghose, Strategic Advisor, Food Safety & Quality, CII-FACE.


Setting the context to the session, Moderator, Mr. Vikram Kelkar, Group Managing Director, Hexagon Nutrition Pvt. Ltd. emphasized the quote “Let food be thy medicine” applying the importance of nutrition in our daily lives. “Amidst the pandemic, a drastic shift has been seen in consumer behavior towards health, wellness, and food. Many surveys have indicated how food safety is the topmost priority for everyone today. The industry has understood the changing priorities and is adapting to them.

There has been a systemic shift from curative to preventive care in the Indian Market and building immunity has become the top priority. In the light of COVID-19, It has become increasingly important to follow the protocol and rules set by the Govt to ensure food safety & quality.”


On being asked by Mr. Vikram Kelkar to highlight the future of the health supplements & nutraceutical sector globally, Mr.Simon Pettman, Executive Director, IADSA said, “The consumption of health supplements and nutraceuticals has quadrupled in the last two decades”. Sharing a quick data update from the last 2 weeks he added that “There has been steep growth in the percentage of health supplements and nutraceuticals consumption in the young population, which have become a sensible, knowledgeable part of their daily lives. Appreciating the efforts of the Indian Government on the Eat Right Movement Initiative, he commented that “The gap between the policies set and consumer perception still needs to be bridged upon to build resilient societies & communities.


On being asked to throw light on preventive nutrition & healthy aging, Mr. Amit Khandeparkar, Head, Healthcare Nutrition Science, Danone India shared that, Healthy aging also known as active or productive/successful aging is a crucial aspect when it comes Asia & South East Asia, comparing it to France which takes 150 years to double its elderly population. Continuous innovation in terms of technology, awareness, Smart applications data, and Artificial Intelligence enabled care can all be the driving factors to maintain an active lifestyle for the elderly. Summarizing it into 4 Ps, Prevention, Prediction, Personalization and Partnership he added that all these aspects play an important role to increase awareness to eat right and prevent the onset of chronic diseases and promote healthy aging.

Talking about Ingredients – Nutrition & wellness foods Dr. Ravindra Kumar, Ph.D., South Asia & ASEAN Quality & Food Safety Leader, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences also added that, We don’t have enough food on earth, 45% of children die each year due to poor nutrition & 63% of deaths globally are attributed to lifestyle diseases alone. With this scenario, the cost to the economy is staggering close to $900mn. Quoting findings from his research he said that customers are highly concerned about the food safety and environment in these covid times. As a food ingredient manufacturer, we need to add life to years and promote life expectancy keeping in mind the generation of the smart and informed consumer.”


Diving deep into the current & future trends in Dietary supplements & nutrition, Mr. Arjun Dasoondi, AVP, Innovation & Science, Amway India, said that “A consumer does not buy products or services, what they buy is the solution to their problems or the experience. As nutrition and health professionals we need to anticipate the problem and fill the nutritional gaps, especially for the Gen-Z and millennials. We need to innovate products, invent new processes, and give them solutions to their problems.”


Mr. Ankur Davesar, Director, Manufacturing, Herbalife Nutrition added his wisdom to the session by speaking on using reformulation and innovation strategies which are very relevant in today’s scenario. He said cereal pulse combinations are the most nutritious reformulation for vegetarians. Another reformulation is salt fortified with iodine, Fortified oils again for that matter. The need of the hour looking at the food system and food availability is bringing about the balance and bridging the gaps of undernutrition and overnutrition. Reformulating pharmaceutical products and innovating health supplements can bridge this gap.


Prof. Tanuja Nesari, Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda added that During this pandemic, the Ministry of AYUSH has promoted home remedies by and large as a preventive measure to fight COVID-19. A right balance and Prakriti-based food can help ward off all chronic ailments thereby diminishing the need for medicines. To strengthen our immune system is in our hands and that can be very mindfully done by inculcating the right food habits and food behavior which has an immunomodulatory effect. In today's time if we prepare the right blend of functional food and nutraceutical formulations through basic ayurvedic ingredients as it holds a huge potential to cater to the entire humanity.

Throwing light on the role of ashwagandha – the Indian ginseng in boosting immunity she said that because of the phytonutrients present in ashwagandha, which is a natural immunomodulator, a natural anti-inflammatory, and an analgesic. Especially in post covid treatment, it has helped many to treat post covid fatigue, sleeplessness, agony, and lethargy.


After the Panel Discussion, Mr. Vikram Kelkar, Group MD, Hexagon Nutrition Pvt. Ltd put forward the Question and Answer session as there were few questions from the audience.

The first question was put forward to Mr.Simon Pettman, Executive Director, IADSA as “How is the recommended dosage for a health supplement established particularly from a global perspective?”

Mr.Simon Pettman, Executive Director, IADSA responded to this question by saying that “According to individuals need and diet, there is the optimum level for vitamins and minerals and certainly, during this Covid times, there is need for Vit C and Vit E which is coming out from the consensus from the scientists all around the world. The important thing is to ensure as a sector that people are provided with the given choice between a safe range of products that is the level of 500 milligrams or 1 gram of Vitamin C should be safe and within the legal framework and people should be given the choice with advice from the Advisors and practitioners as there is no one definite solution than this.”


Another question that was put forward by Mr. Vikram Kelkar, Group MD, Hexagon Nutrition Pvt. Ltd . was “ What are some of the probiotics that are available naturally?” Dr. Ravindra Kumar, Ph.D., South Asia & ASEAN Quality & Food Safety Leader, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences took the opportunity to attend to this question by saying “ Probiotics are science-based and are naturally present in fermented foods like Dahi, etc. However, dating back to definition Probiotics are live microorganisms that are administered in the right number providing health benefits to the host. To get the benefit from a natural source like Dahi one may have to consume 30kg of Dahi because as per FSSAI one requires to consume probiotics in value of 1000000 or 100000000. This is why science is important and hence efficacy of natural probiotics has to be established by a scientific review.”

Next question was put forward to Mr. Arjun Dasoondi, AVP, Innovation & Science, Amway India by Mr. Vikram Kelkar, Group MD, Hexagon Nutrition Pvt. Ltd asking “What are the innovation models and best practices to meet the evolving needs of consumers?”

Mr. Arjun Dasoondi, AVP, Innovation & Science, Amway India answered “Putting forward the customer-centric approach and addressing the problem first.” He also emphasized design thinking and called it an HCD - Human Center Design approach and innovation. He further said “An example of US market research about people having milkshakes as early as 7:00 in the morning to know whether they were hungry or concerned about their health or was it just satiety. It was found that none of it was the reason but there was a need to sip some kind of beverage on the way to work and save time in the office and this led to a change in texture and thickness of the milkshake and also the addition of various toppings to the milkshake.” He focused on the co-development model as a game-changing model.


Mr. Vikram Kelkar, Group MD, Hexagon Nutrition Pvt. Ltd expressed special acknowledgments to FSSAI for their constant engagements with the Industry in the last 6-8 months as he himself had discussions with the FSSAI CEO and Chairperson. He also focused on the importance of public-private partnerships as it was in the best interest of the country. Expressing deepest gratitude, he concluded the session by inviting all participants and stakeholders to take action on fostering an enabling ecosystem to leverage innovation in food safety for nutrition and wellness foods.




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