According to recent research two thirds of the population in this country takes some form of nutraceuticals every day of their lives. As our population continues to age we as a culture are taking a much bigger interest in our health than any time in recorded history.

What are Nutraceuticals?

The term nutraceutical is a combination of nutrition and pharmaceutical and describes any nutritional product that is derived from food sources. These products must provide additional health benefits above and beyond the most basic nutritional values that are found in most foods today. These products can be used to improve your customers' overall health, slow down the aging process and help to prevent or delay the onset of many chronic illnesses and diseases and in certain cases help to increase their life expectancy. In many cases these products come in the form of a complete food or beverage, the most common forms are dietary supplements and herbal products. These products are selling at a pace that is unmatched in the vitamin and mineral supplement market.

With over more than 100 million people in the world now taking some form of these natural products the, market is currently growing at a rate of 7-12% annually the market potential is massive.

This rapid growth in the popularity of nutraceuticals is in large part due to the overall dissatisfaction of consumers the world over with the current high cost of modern health care and drugs. More consumers are turning to such products as an alternative to these treatments. Public opinion is turning to nutraceuticals as the concept that "natural is good" begins to catch on. Over 40% of the people are now using nutraceuticals and alternative medical therapies instead of seeking professional medical treatments.

The current market value of the nutraceutical supplement market is approximately $86 billon and continues to grow every day. When you add a line of our ‘HALAL’ label to the nutraceuticals products you carry, you will realize a much higher return on your investment than with most of the other "brand name" products.

 In halal products apart from quality, safety and efficacy issues, the niche lies in the implementation the concept of Islamic Sharia’h pertaining to the source and manner of preparation conforming to the tenets laid down by the teachings of Islam.

General guidelines for the production of nutraceuticals usually conform to standards of current GMP. Nutraceuticals often are composed of botanicals and plant extracts and formulations using ingredients that are animal-derived have to be avoided. The rich healthcare traditions of Islamic, Chinese and Indian civilizations utilize mostly botanical elements for centuries, such as black seed in the Islamic tradition, ma huang in Chinese culture and gotu kola in India.

1.1 Examples of Ingredients to Watch

Flavors and colorants Alcohol or ingredients from haram animal origin, in the formulations. Halal alternatives are available.
Beta-carotene Often use small quantities of gelatin to encapsulate the beta-carotene and to protect its color and other characteristics. Some companies use fish gelatin for encapsulation, which makes the product halal. Manufacturers also may use halal gelatin or plant gums as encapsulating materials.
Gelatin Commonly used to make capsules, both softgel and two-piece hard shell from porcine gelatin. Kosher-certified gelatin (bovine and fish) also is available. However, gelatin-free products made from vegetable materials could be halal, kosher as well as vegetarian (vegan)-all at the same time Halal gelatin, cellulose or starch can be used instead of porcine gelatin.
Stearates From animal sources may be used as free-flow agents in powders or tableting aids in tablets. For halal and kosher products, manufacturers can use stearates obtained from plant sources.
Tweens (a series of synthetic emulsifiers) Sometimes used to coat and polish tablets. Vegetable-derived tweens should be used in halal and kosher products.
Glycerin From non halal sourced may be used in the manufacture of capsules and other products. Glycerin of plant origin can be kosher and halal-suitable for such applications

1.2 Examples of Types of Products

Tablets Tablets may be coated with gelatin (gel tabs) or with specialty lipids such as polysorbates. Manufacturers should use halal-or kosher-certified gelatin and/or plant-originating lipids. Sugars and plant proteins such as zein also may be used as a tablet-coating material in both kosher and halal products.
Liquid supplements and drinks Many liquid formulations are standardized with ethyl alcohol, as a preservative or solvent. Alternatives such as mixtures of propylene glycol and water may be used. Whereas there are minimal restrictions for ethyl alcohol in kosher products, the amount of residual alcohol in the final halal finished product must be reduced to an insignificant level.
Softgel capsules One-piece soft capsules used to be made exclusively from gelatin. They also can be made with vegetable ingredients such as modified starch, cellulose gum and other plant gums. Halal-and kosher-certified bovine and fish gelatin also is available for this purpose. Besides the main ingredient, softgel capsules may also contain glycerin or fat-derived chemicals, which, for halal and kosher products, should be from plant sources.
Two Piece Hard-shell Capsules Hardgel capsules used to be made exclusively with gelatin. Vegetarian capsules especially for nutritional supplements made from modified cellulose, modified starches or other plant materials. Glycerin and other ingredients may be used as processing aids. All such ingredients should be from vegetable or petroleum sources. halal-or kosher-certified bovine or fish gelatin also may be used. Other incidental ingredients should also be halal-and/or kosher-suitable.