Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations

Completed Details

India’s Phytonutrient Report: A snapshot of fruits and vegetable consumption, availability and implications for phytonutrient intakes

Project Leader: Arpita Mukherjee
Research Team: Tanu M. Goyal, Souvik Dutta, Suvi Agrawal and Avantika Kapoor
Commencement: May 2015
Completion: 
Funded by: Amway Opportunity Foundation

A pioneering study by the World Health Organization (WHO) on diet, nutrition and prevention of chronic diseases has recommended that a daily intake of at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables helps prevent diet-related chronic diseases and micronutrient deficiencies. It is scientifically established that fruits and vegetables are essential sources of phytonutrients, which promote a range of health benefits.

India is one of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables in the world. It is also one of the largest consumer markets, with food and grocery having the largest share in the consumption basket. However, a number of studies show that Indian consumers do not consume the WHO recommended quantity of fruits and vegetables. This report, based on secondary information analysis and a survey of 1001 consumers across different states in India, tried to understand the production and availability of fruits and vegetables, consumption patterns, extent of shortfall in consumption, reasons for shortfall, and the implications of such shortfall for consumer health and well-being. It also highlighted policy issues related to food safety and standards, use of pesticides, organic products, food supply chain, foreign investment in retail, food pricing, and food supplements and nutraceuticals.

The report has been published and presented to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Some of the key issues raised by the report, such as the likelihood of nutrition deficiencies among students, need for regulations and policy guidelines for nutraceuticals and organic produce, have been taken forward by policymakers for future research and discussions.

For the Executive
Summary of the Project Report see: http://icrier.org/pdf/India_Phytonutrient_Report_Ex_summary.pdf

Research

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