A nutraceutical is any food or dietary supplement ingredient that provides a health benefit. It can be tea with ginseng, or it may be a soy product with an added level of isoflavones. At present, high quality, very good standardized grade herbal extracts qualify as nutraceuticals, but the term nutraceuticals as it stands today has become too wide to be useful. Nutraceuticals provide all the essential substances that should be present in a healthy diet for the human body. They have received considerable interest because of their presumed safety and potential nutritional and therapeutic effects, and they are available in the form of isolated nutrients, dietary
supplements and specific diets to genetically engineered foods, herbal products and processed foods such
as cereals, soups and beverages.
Nutritional deficiencies are of major concern to lawmakers across the developing nations. Rapidly growing
population, poverty and starvation, and very low level awareness on nutrition are major hindrances for
eliminating nutritional deficiencies. Iron deficiency alone affects two billion people across the globe, and
deficiencies in zinc, iodine, vitamin A, and calcium are other major health issues. Multiple strategies are
available to overcome this situation, including food diversification, supplementation, fortification, and
production of crops with enhanced levels of these micronutrients.