NRDC ready to launch Moringa leaf powder as nutraceutical, scouts for commercialisation
Saturday, September 05, 2009 08:00 IST
Nandita Vijay, Bangalore
National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) is now ready with its research findings on Moringa or drum stick leaves powder proving to have high anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and diuretic properties.
The main research was carried out by a team at Tamil Nadu University. NRDC has been approached for commercialisation of the product for which it is on the look out for potential Indian herbal manufacturers.
Moringa contains properties which help rheumatism, arthritis and other joint disorders. It is also recommended as cardiac and circulatory stimulant. Biological studies have confirmed that the drum stick leaf has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and diuretic activities.
Many herbal manufacturers in India are already engaged in exporting Moringa leaves powder as a nutraceutical and in oil form. According to the research findings by Tamil Nadu University, the Moringa leaves can be filled in capsules. “Moringa is the Tree of Life. Doctors use it to treat diabetes in West Africa and high blood pressure in India. We have looked at developing the pure form of the powder which is natural and safe”, said HK Phanikumar, consultant, business development, NRDC.
According to the Tamil Nadu University researchers, capsules formulated with Moringa leaves can be certified to prove that there are no additives. Referring to the ancient texts of Ayurveda, the researchers have proved that the Moringa powder helps to boost energy and provides the required nutrition besides rebuild weak bones, enrich anaemic blood. It has calcium content of equivalent to 4 glasses of milk, the vitamin C of 7 oranges, and the potassium of 3 bananas.
Further daily consumption of the Moringa leaf powder which is high in Vitamin A can shield against eye disease, skin disease, heart ailments, diarrhoea among others. Its vitamin C content helps in preventing colds and flu. Its high calcium content is good for strong teeth and prevention of osteoporosis. Being a source of potassium and proteins it is recommended brain and nerves functions.
The competitive advantage of the leaf is that compared to common foods, its values per 100gm. edible portion is vitamin A 6780 mcg and carrots: 1890 mcg vitamin C 220 mg and oranges: 30 mg. Calcium 440 mg and cow’s milk: 120 mg. Potassium 259 mg and bananas: 88 mg. Protein 6.7 gm cow’s milk: 3.2 gm.
There are several research institutes which have worked on process development of Moringa leaf. Efforts are also on to bring out value-added products to the market.
According to Phanikumar, the product is apt for Indian small and medium manufacturers of herbal products as it can be produced on large scale. With the current high level of awareness about the Moringa leaf nutrition in the market, companies can capitalise on the revenues generation opportunities not only in the domestic market but the international arena, he added.