Traceability for Nutraceuticals: challenges in the food supplements journey

There has been significant growth in the consumption of nutritional supplements all over the world, especially in Europe. Though the ingredients used are all-natural, it is necessary that the various risks associated with food security in the supply chain should be addressed.

The traceability journey starts from tracking the source of ingredients used, producing and manufacturing, distribution and retail, and finally the end consumer. The data at each stage needs to be recorded and shared if necessary. In these supplements, it could start with how the ingredients were grown or sourced, how the seeds were farmed and harvested, how it was processed, and under what conditions were they handled assuring safety and quality.

Without transparent communication and precise requirements, the prevalence of mislabeling is growing. It leads to the utterly impossible establishment of an effective track & trace process of the source of ingredients, production, manufacturing, distribution and retail. In turn, this creates many opportunities for stimulation of drugs black market.

Complete transparency in the nutraceutical supply chain is important and no manufacturing company can choose to ignore it. Consumers have the right to know the farm-to-bottle story of the product so that they can make informed choices of buying the product. With the complexity of the supply chain and its logistics increasing day by day, there is a necessity for traceability systems to be in place.

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