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Therapeutic Food & Entrepreneurship in Tamil Nadu, India


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The Therapeutic Food and Entrepreneurship Opportunities and challenges in and around Tamil Nadu have been described.

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Therapeutic Food & Entrepreneurship in Tamil Nadu, India

  1. 1. Therapeutic Food & Entrepreneurship in Tamil Nadu, India Shivendu Ranjan & Nandita Dasgupta School of Bio Sciences and Technology, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
  2. 2. ‘TN’ites: An economical overview  Population size below poverty line (BPL): i) 11.28% ii) 82.63 lakhs  Per capita income for BPLs in INR: i) 880/capita for rural population ii) 937/capita for urban population Reference: Planning Commissions (Govt. of India) – 2013/July
  3. 3. Target Consumers ‘TN’ites: An economical overview Population size above poverty line (APL): i) 88.72% ii) 649.9 lakhs  Per capita income for APLs in INR: i) 1570/capita for rural population ii) 2534/capita for urban population Reference: Planning Commissions (Govt. of India) – 2013/July
  4. 4. Target population’s: Food habit Breakfast Idly, Dosa, Pongal, Poori, Sambhar, Chutney of coconut/peanut  Lunch Rice, Sambhar, Koottu/Poriyal, Rasam, Curd  Snacks Hot drinks, Bakeries & Confectionaries  Dinner Poori, Chapati & other breads, Rice, Gravies
  5. 5. TN’s Agricultural districts  Top 10 agricultural districts (area-wise) Vellupuram Salem Coimbatore Tiruchirapalli Erode Dindigul Thiruvannamalai Cuddalore Perambalur Salem Reference: TN Govt. (Web link:
  6. 6. TN’s Agriculture  Cereals Paddy Varieties Jowar (Cholam) Bajra (Cumbu) Ragi Maize Korra annam Varagu annam Samai annam Kudhirai valli annam Reference: TN Govt. (Weblink:
  7. 7. TN’s Agriculture  Pulses Bengal gram Red gram Black gram Green gram Horse gram Mochai beans (Rajma) Cow pea Reference: TN Govt. (Weblink:
  8. 8. TN’s Agriculture  Spices Chilies Mint Garlic Coriander Ginger Turmeric Pepper Tamarind Nutmeg Arecanut Cloves & Cinnamon Cardamom Curry leaves Fennel Fenu Greek seed Reference: TN Govt. (Weblink:
  9. 9. TN’s Agriculture  Spices Chilies Mint Garlic Coriander Ginger Turmeric Pepper Tamarind Nutmeg Arecanut Cloves & Cinnamon Cardamom Curry leaves Fennel Fenu Greek seed Reference: TN Govt. (Weblink:
  10. 10. TN’s Agriculture  Edible oil seed Groundnut Gingelly Coconut Sunflower Soya beans Oil palm Reference: TN Govt. (Weblink:
  11. 11. TN’s Agriculture  Fruits Mango Banana Watermelon Muskmelon Grapes Guava Reference: TN Govt. (Weblink:
  12. 12. TN’s Natural products benefits: At a glance  Many grains are rich source of many nutrients and micronutrients e.g. carbohydrates, vitamins, Calcium, Phosphorus etc.  Vegetables, fruits, leafy vegetables, pulses are also rich in several micronutrients, bioactive medicinal compounds and can be used as “Therapeutic Food”.  Medicinal plants and herbs have many compounds like phenolics, flavonoids, sterols, terpenes, alkaloids etc. which can be added for some specific property in “Therapeutic food” development. Reference: TN Govt. (Weblink:
  13. 13. Therapeutic food  Any food or food supplement used to prevent/cure any disease Could be taken as food and not as medicine  Criteria to be fulfilled by any food to be included under therapeutics: 1. Should have sensory qualities as in food items 2. Should be palatable i.e. should be tasty 3. Consumer’s need, interest and expectations should be considered 4. Could be used to prevent/cure any disease 5. Should not have any side effects
  14. 14. Need for Therapeutic Food  It is not possible to include ALL the grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables and other medicinal plants in our daily food habit  Because of monotonous food habit – most of us are not taking ‘Balanced Food’.  even if we eat a balanced food, the amount of pure bioactive compound available are very less (not enough to elicit proper bioactivity)  Any solution then? - Develop some ‘FOOD SUPPLEMENT’  Many natural products have their own beneficial property e.g. ladies finger and Arugampillu grass
  15. 15. Therapeutic Food for business  Best example – Amway, Unicorn Natural Products (P) Ltd., Rosun Natural Products Pvt. Ltd., AVT Natural Products Ltd., Natural Remedies (P) Ltd.,  South India based Natural products industries: Snap Natural and Alginate Products, Venkatesh Natural Extract (P) Ltd.  The concept that they have used: Granny Therapy Concept  India is richest source of natural products; but the benefits are not easily reachable; majority of population depend on junk/ designer foods  So, why not take a step towards providing therapeutic food to them
  16. 16. Therapeutic Food for business: A basic concept  Steps i) R & D for any natural products property from granny therapy concept ii) R & D for developing product (Therapeutic Food) with the minimum loss of bioactive compound iii) Optimize the process for product development iv) Develop products - Get certification v) Now its time to advertise, market and sell the product Note: Never forget to have market research, raw material availability, consumer demand survey, electricity and water availability research
  17. 17. Example 1: Therapeutic Food for Osteoporosis patients  It is a disease in which bone degradation starts because of several metabolic changes A common disease in North as well as South India  Women are most affected  More risk during and after menopause i.e. from 48 years onwards. Note: 48 and above years old women do not care much about their own food because of family/responsibilities
  18. 18. Osteoporosis: Any solution?  Once completely affected then medication is the only solution  During initial stages of osteoporosis: medication and change in food habits can help  Prevention is better than cure: SO CHANGE IN FOOD HABITS is a better option  Mainly Calcium, Vitamin D and antioxidant rich food Note: Avoid adding sugar to any food item/ food supplement since, sugar enhances the calcium degradation from blood through urine
  19. 19. Calcium rich natural products There are lots of foods that are rich in calcium:  Milk  Meat  Pork and beef  Milk based products (curd, yoghurt, cheese, paneer etc)  Barley  Jwar Bajra etc.
  20. 20. Vitamin D rich natural products Foods that are rich in vit D:  Eggs  Liver oils  Mushroom  Almonds  Fig  Sesame seeds  Peas (mainly black eyed) etc.
  21. 21. Natural products as antioxidants Antioxidant activity is mainly present in plants and vegetables:  Pulses like urad daal  Spices like cinnamon  Onion  Garlic  Pumpkins  Apples  Tomatoes  Red peppers etc.
  22. 22. Bakery/confectionary product from these natural products Why bakery/confectionary product?  Processing steps will minimise loss of bioactive compounds  Grains and vegetables rich in vitamin, calcium and antioxidants can be powdered easily Attractive products can be formulated  Less investments  More demands  Less number of existing products – less competition – more market size
  23. 23. Confectionary product from these natural products What will be the market size?  40% of North Indian women are affected by osteoporosis  60% of South Indian women are affected because of food habits How long it will take to reach breakeven point  Because of more number of customers and less competition; a small scale industry would take approximately 2-2.5 years to achieve breakeven point
  24. 24. Example 2: Organic Farming  Organic Farming “What and Why”???  Organic farming can provide fresh therapeutic food  Examples of some successful small scale industries’ in organic farming: i) The Nallakeerai team (Source: The Hindu News paper: 6th June 2013) ii) R Madhavan, an alumnus of IIT-Madras – An Engineer turned into successful Farmer (Source: Employability First: iii) Many other examples in and outskirts of Chennai iv) Then why not one among of you???
  25. 25. Organic Farming: A Huge Market  Reports say: “organic greens had a huge market — Chennai alone consumes 10 lakh bundles every day.”  Organic greens has main market in Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, Anna Nagar, Velachery, Ambattur, T.Nagar, Kodambakkam, Virugambakkam and Vadapalani  The Nallakeerai team conducts weekend workshops at its farm on organic farming and eco-friendly lifestyles  R Madhavan (IITM Alumni) has got offer from Israel, Dr. Abdul Kalam has visited his farm and many food industries are investing for his farm for developing organic crops  If they can WHY NOT WE?
  26. 26. Likewise: Some other products  Tomato Cold treatment, sauce, pickle, ketchup Chilly Sauce, pickle, dry. Green chilly can be dried without color change (retaines all original characteristics) Coconut Water can be used to make vinegar, juice, sharbath  Mushroom pickles, packed as such and supply to hotels, supermarkets, etc.  Takes less time to grow, can be grown easily with minimum investments, easy harvesting, highly nutritious, high demand
  27. 27. Therapeutic Food for Diabetes, CHS and Cancer Natural products’ extract bioactive components prevent/decrease the sugar level in blood e.g. Doob grass, ladies fingers etc Extracts are beneficial; they need to be processed In the industrial point of view, processing step should be optimized; final products can be preserved and marketed NEW TECHNIQUE Nanoemulsification/nanoencapsulation fastest growing field to deliver the bioactive compounds without compromising on quality
  28. 28. Encapsulation of the bioactive compound in nano materials so as to retain its characters and deliver them to the target Helps in increasing shelf life of products/commodities nano cosmetics products are commercially very successful Initiative from industries to fund for R & D – get IPR – get trade secret – certification and launch the products Enterpreneurs can exploit the vast opportunity in this novel field Nanoemulsification/nanoencapsulation
  29. 29. Nano-encapsulated antioxidants can be added to the butter milk If Tata & Reliance can develop mineralized and nutritive water packets, then why can’t we develop nutritive curds with extra vitamins/proteins emulsified in it? Nano-Food is the fastest growing concept and new field to explore for entrepreneurs Uniliver, Nutralase, etc. are some of the best examples who developed many nano-food products Un-conventional ideas in conventional food: new horizons to explore
  30. 30.  Lack of proper processing and preservation steps leads to wasteage of agricultural/food products Initiatives like cold storage in and around agricultural lands/districts can be taken up Fruits and vegetables can be subjected to preliminary processing steps - for e.g. Blanching helps to preserve fruits and vegetables for some more days/months Packaging & Nano-packaging can also be done to increase the shelf life of the food Processing & Preservation based start ups: new concepts; new ideas !!
  31. 31.  Time is right for entrepreneurs to think, plan, develop and market the nano-food  No competition – you will be the first to start  “If not now then never” – It’s the right time to think different – act different – be different  Different are “The Entrepreneurs” – “One among YOU” Time to act!!!
  32. 32. Thank You...