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EVALUATION of PROCESSED FOOD ACCEPTANCE and ITS REGULATORY COMPLIANCE in ASIAN COUNTRIES

Yesenia Harris

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Avdesh Thassu
MPharm (Nat. Chem.); MBA(Mkt.)
Associate Vice President
Global Regulatory Affairs,
Emami Limited
athassu@hotmail.com

Chandra mohan nandi
MSc. (Organic Chem.)
Deputy Manager,
Global Regulatory Affairs,
Emami Limited

Abstract : Consumer awareness of the health benefits o fFood processing which generally define that the basic preparation of foods, the alteration of a food product into another form (as in making preserves from fruit), and preservation and packaging techniques furthermore, it may bring to consumers mind that all kind of packaged food item containing many ingredients, perhaps even artificial colours, Preservatives,flavours, or other chemical additives. Often referred to as convenience or pre-prepared foods, processed foods are suggested to be a contributor to the obesity epidemic and rising prevalence of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. But it is required as agriculture and animal husbandry blowout, it was essential to preserve all category of foods to avoid losses because of decomposition and to survive during times of any kind of crisis. Food processing is taking a raw product and turning it into an ingredient, like turning vanilla beans into vanilla extract, whereas food manufacturers purchase ingredients and use them within a product, like taking the vanilla extract and using it to make cookies. What we eat has a big impact on our health, and ultra-processed foods like candy, soft drinks, pizza and chips do not contain enough of the beneficial nutrients that the body requires. The more ultra-processed foods we eat, the poorer the overall nutritional quality of our diet. Processed foods are mainly praised for their convenience, palatability, and novelty. However, their healthfulness has increasingly come under scrutiny.

Introduction : Food processing plays an essential role in providing edible, safe and nutritious foods to the population, and in food preservation. However, as the topic is complex, with many different types of processes that may bring both risks and benefits depending on the context. Processing can also lead to the formation of toxic compounds, such as heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, resulting in browning and other desirable sensorial changes. There is reportedly negativity and misconceptions regarding processed foods in the media and by consumers. Furthermore, concerns about the health risks of industrial processing, diet quality, and chronic diseases, have led to the development of food classification systems which distinguish among different categories of processed foods.

Classification of Processed Food : The following reference was adapted from the NOVA Food Classification system, which was intended by Center for Epidemiological Studies in Health and Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. NOVA helps to classify foods according to the extent and purpose of the processing they undergo.

Food processing as identified by NOVA involved physical, biological and chemical processes that occur after foods are separated from nature, and before they are consumed or used in the preparation of dishes. Under this classification:
Group 1: Unprocessed or minimally processed food
Group 2: Processed culinary ingredients like oils, fats
Group 3: Processed foods
Group 4: Ultra-processed foods
In this article, we will discuss specifically Group 3 and Group 4.
Processed foods are products, whichuse salt, sugar, oil, or other substances (Group 2) added to natural or minimally processed foods (Group 1) to preserve or to make them more appetizing. They are usually consumed as a part or as a side dish in culinary preparations made using natural or minimally processed foods. Most processed foods have two or three ingredients. For example, canned or bottled legumes or vegetables preserved in salt or vinegar, or by pickling. It can be processed meat/processed fish/processed beef etc.
Ultra-processed foods are made mostly from substances extracted from foods like Natural Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, oils, fats, sugar, starch, and proteins, derived from food constituents, or synthesized in laboratories from food substrates or other organic sources. Manufacturing techniques include extrusion, moulding and pre-processing. Beverages may be ultra-processed. Group 1 foods are a small proportion of, or are even absent from, ultra-processed products. For example, sweets, or salty packaged snacks.

What makes processed foods popular : Though not all the processed foods are healthier to human, still are some reasons which makes processed foods so popular in nowadays. If we look into the statistics aside, we will find that majority of the contribution to the consumption of processed andultra-processed foods in the diet. The following reasons may be attributed to the readily increasing dependency on processed foods globally.

a) The Convenience of Processed Food : As we all know processed foods and fast food are generally more convenient. This accessibility is more appealing, especially who work long hours. Rapid production and easy storage are the main reasons for the popularity of processed food. Itsavailability in every convenience store, supermarket and chain like McDonald’s can reliably be found outside many schools and workplaces. This combination of availability and convenienceresultsin so many negative health effects gradually due to growing unhealthy lifestyle.
b) The Affordability of Processed Food: Cost, time, variety, are important factorsin the increasing acceptance of all kind of processed food. It tends to be extremely cheap as compare to the harvested food items which require further input of money and processing time. When processed food is so affordable and convenient, it becomes easy to forgo nutritious food. The high sodium and sugar content may not be good for humans, but they make these foods appealing to the taste buds.

What makes processed foods unhealthy–“SOCIAL AWARENESS” :
Healthy Food Habit Makes Structure of Our Body
Food acceptability directly relates to the interaction food has with the consumer at a given moment in time. The acceptance or rejection of food entirely depends on whether it corresponds to consumer expectations and needs. The process through which an individual accepts or rejects food is considered to be multi-dimensional. The structure of food acceptability is both variable and dynamic among individuals in different groups and the same individuals in different time periods and contexts. Healthy food habit which includes the kind of good food, which is well accepted to the individual body structure. Ingredients like salt, sugar, fat, moreover food colours, and food preservatives are sometimes added to processed foods to make their flavour more attractive and to extend their shelf life, or in some cases to contribute to the food’s structure.Buying processed foods can lead to people eating more than the recommended amounts of sugar, salt and fat as they may not be aware about how much they need toeat.These foods can also be higher in calories due to the high amounts of added sugar or fat in them. People have to be well aware about their eating habit, has to go with their body accepts, has to look into the labels of processed food, need to check the nutrition details, & preservative, colorants with their mentioned percentages. Also, need to focus on packaging of that food. What type of packaging is used in the foods, whether it will react with the foods or with the environment t maintain ecological balance that needs to be evaluated properly. This awareness for not only people but also it is the jurisdiction of Govt. authorities too. They need to be more vigilant on such things.

Health Risks of All Kinds of Processed/Ultra-processedFoods
There are many potential health effects of processed/ultra-processed foods, including:
o Increased cancer risk. A 5-year study of over 100,000 people found that every ultra-processed food was associated with a 12% higher risk for cancer.
o Too much sugar, sodium and fat. Highly processed foods often include higher levels of added sugar, sodium and fat. These ingredients make the food tastier, but too much leads to serious health issues like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
o Lacking in nutritional value. High-processing strips of many foods of their basic nutrients, result in many foods today being fortified with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
o Calorie dense and addicting. It is very easy to overdo unhealthy food and consume more calories than we realize. For example, an Oreo cookie contains about 50 calories, while an entire cup of green beans is only 44 calories. Processed foods like these are also designed to stimulate our brain’s “feel-good” dopamine center.
o Quicker to digest. Processed foods are easier to digest than unprocessed foods. That means our bodyburns less energy digesting them. It is estimated that we burn half as many calories digesting processed foods compared to unprocessed foods.
o Full of artificial ingredients. There are about 5,000 substances that get added to our food, and may have never been tested by anyone other than the company using them. That includes additives to change colour, texture, flavour and odour as well as ingredients like preservatives and sweeteners.
How can eat processed foods as part of a healthy diet?Reading nutrition labels can help out to choose processed products and keep a check on fat, salt and sugar content.
Most pre-packed foods have the nutrition information on the front, back or side of the packaging.Differences in nutrient profiles between vegetarian and nonvegetarianprocessed foodmay reflect the nutritional differences that may contribute to the development of disease.

Guideline of food concerning fat, saturated fat, salt or sugar: As per WHO recommendationsreduce the amount of total fat intake to less than 30% of total energy intake to help prevent unhealthy weight gain. Lower the risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancersby reducing saturated fats, found in fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, and ghee to less than 10% of total energy intake, reducing total trans fats (found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, cookies, and margarine) to less than 1% of total energy intake and replacing both with unsaturated fats (found in fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower and corn oils).

Reduce your salt consumption to the recommended level of less than 5 gm/day. Most people consume too much sodium through salt (corresponding to an average of 9-12 g of salt/day) and not enough potassium. High sodium consumption with insufficient potassium intake (less than 3.5 g) contributes to high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of cardiac arrest.

Need to reduce intake of free sugars throughout the life. Free sugars are all sugars added to foods or drinks (e.g. glucose, galactose, fructose, sucrose, or table sugar) as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices.Adults and children, need to reduce their intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake provides additional health benefits, so need to reduce the intake of free sugars further. Consuming free sugars increases the risk of tooth decay. Excess calories from foods and drinks high in free sugars also contribute to unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to overweight and obesity.

Regulatory Status of Micronutrient Fortification in Southeast Asia:Regulatory status of micronutrient fortification of foods in South East Asia varies greatly between countries. Results from a survey on the regulatory status of micronutrient fortification in 10 ASEAN countries presented at the workshop showed that voluntary fortification with vitamins and minerals is permitted in most countries in South East Asia, with considerable differences in approach in regulating, such as the food vehicle, micronutrient form, minimum and maximum levels, and claims permitted. Mandatory fortification of salt with iodine is present in 8 out of 10 ASEAN countries, and mandatory flour fortification with iron is in place in Indonesia and the Philippines. Fortification of sugar and cooking oil with vitamin A is mandatory in the Philippines, and fortification of unbranded cooking oil with vitamin A will be mandatory in Indonesia from early 2015 onwards. Table 1 presents a summary of mandatory fortification status in ASEAN countries.

Nutrient

Food vehicle

Country

Iodine

Salt

All 10 countries, except Brunei, Singapore, and some parts of Malaysia

Iron

Wheat flour

Indonesia


Wheat flour and rice

Philippines

Vitamin A

Condensed, evaporated, and filled milk; margarine

Malaysia

Wheat flour, refined sugar, cooking oil

Philippines

Condensed milk, margarine

Thailand

Unbranded cooking oil

Indonesia

Vitamin D

Margarine

Malaysia

Folic acid and B vitamins

Wheat flour

Indonesia

Rice

Thailand

Zinc

Wheat flour

Indonesia

Import Regulation of processed food with special reference to South East Asia: The regulations regarding processed food are relatively rigorous in most of ASEAN countries. We are taking a few examples.
In Singapore, importers must adhere to quality assurance procedures that are acceptable to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). To enforce this, AVA demands the importers submit certified-true-copy documents, from the food safety authority of the country of origin, certifying that the imported food product is manufactured by licensed or regulated premises. The processed food products being assessed for import into Singapore will also be subjected to Sale the of Food Act. All imported processed food products are subjected to inspection. Certain food products have been identified through trend studies and classifieds as high-risk products hence, require pre-market assessment such as laboratory testing reports and health certificates to ensure the safety of the products. Health certificates, issued by the authorities of the country of origin must contain the following details:
o Description of product and packaging (including brand, trademark, if any)
o Quantity, by weight
o Name and address of the processing establishment
o Name and address of the consignor
o Name and address of the consignee

In Malaysia,importers are required to ensure the imported food product’s adherence to the Malaysian Food Act 1983. Section 29 of the Food Act provides that the importation of any food which does not comply with the provisions of the Food Act or any regulation made thereunder is prohibited.In addition, importers must also ensure strict adherence to the Malaysian Food Regulations 1985 in respect of the type of food to be imported. Failure of the importers to comply with the regulation governing the importation of manufactured food products shall render the possibility of the importers’ license to be canceled. Any kind of failure on the part of the importers of food products to comply with the Food Act for the importation of manufactured food products could result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.
In Indonesia, the only processed food that can be imported into Indonesia is food that already has a Market Authorization Permit. In addition to that, the importer must obtain approval from the Head of BPOM in the form of an Import Information Letter (“SKI”).

Conclusion : There is no doubt that at least some processed foods are found in most people’s kitchens. They can be time-savers when preparing meals. From a nutritional standpoint, processed and even ultra-processed foods can provide key nutrients. Some nutrients like protein are naturally retained throughout processing. Processing by certain methods like pasteurization, cooking, and drying can destroy or inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Depending on the degree of processing, many nutrients can be destroyed or removed. Peeling the outer layers of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may remove plant nutrients (phytochemicals) and fiber. Heating or drying foods can destroy certain vitamins and minerals. Although food manufacturers can add back some of the nutrients lost, it is impossible to recreate the food in its original form.If you are deciding whether to include highly processed food in your diet, it may be useful to evaluate its nutritional content and long-term effect on health. An ultra-processed food that contains an unevenly high ratio of calories to nutrients may be considered unhealthy. Based on all the data, we can conclude that, though processed foods are convenient &mouth-watering, we should go with fresh foods rather than processed food in the broader prospect of our health.We, the authors of this article are not against any organization, which are in manufactures of processed foods, rather our main object is to evaluate the pros & cons of processed foods in Asian countries & regulatory portfolio of imported of processed foods in those countries.

References :
1. Floros JD, Newsome R, Fisher W, Barbosa-Canovas GV, Chen H, Dunne P, German JB, Hall RL, Heldman DR, Karwe MV, et al. Feeding the world today and tomorrow: the importance of food science and technology. An IFT Scientific Review. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 2010;9:572-99.
2. https://educhange.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/NOVA-Classification-Reference-Sheet.pdf
3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-020-02367-1
4. https://www.lhsfna.org/the-many-health-risks-of-processed-foods/
5. https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+guidelines+a+food+is+high+or+low+in+fat,+saturated+fat,+salt+or+sugar&rlz=1C1JJTC_enIN932IN932&sxsrf=ALiCzsYpoDx2geQXw_yn9RZJEcqojxbGbg:1667810520486&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiQ8YCt1pv7AhXCyDgGHdXgDckQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1366&bih=657&dpr=1
6. https://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/reduce-fat-salt-and-sugar-intake/index.html
7. https://www.guidemesingapore.com/business-guides/industry-guides/restaurant-and-food-industry/importing-food-products-into-singapore
8. https://www.mondaq.com/food-and-drugs-law/1227726/importing-manufactured-food-products-in-malaysia-legal-requirements
9. https://resourcehub.bakermckenzie.com/en/resources/asia-pacific-food-law-guide/asia-pacific/indonesia/topics/licensing-and-approvals-requirements-to-importexport-food#:~:text=Under%20this%20regulation%2C%20the%20only,Letter%20(%22SKI%22).
10. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/processed-foods/

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Pharmacovigilance – Indian View of 2023

Yesenia Harris

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Pharmacovigilance is the process of monitoring and assessing the safety of medications after they have been approved and are on the market. This includes identifying and assessing potential side effects, monitoring the use of medications in real-world settings, and taking appropriate actions to minimize risks and improve patient safety.

Key components of pharmacovigilance include:Adverse event reporting: This involves collecting and analyzing reports of adverse events (such as side effects) associated with the use of a medication.Risk management: This involves identifying and assessing potential risks associated with a medication and taking appropriate actions to minimize those risks, such as updating labeling or warning patients and healthcare providers about potential risks.Drug utilization review: This involves monitoring the use of medications in real-world settings to identify potential safety issues, such as inappropriate prescribing or overuse.Benefit-risk assessment: This involves evaluating the overall benefits and risks of a medication to ensure that its benefits continue to outweigh its risks.

Pharmacovigilance is important to ensure the safety of medications, and it is a continuous process that requires ongoing monitoring, assessment, and action to minimize risks and improve patient safety.

Role of Pharmacists in Pharmacovigilance
Pharmacists play an important role in pharmacovigilance, which is the process of monitoring and evaluating the safety of medications. They are responsible for identifying and reporting adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and other safety concerns related to medications. Pharmacists also help to educate patients and healthcare providers about the safe use of medications, including potential side effects and interactions. Additionally, pharmacists may also be involved in reviewing and analyzing data on ADRs and helping to develop strategies to prevent them in the future. Overall, pharmacists are key members of the healthcare team and play a vital role in ensuring the safe and effective use of medications.

Challenges for Pharmacovigilance in India
Pharmacovigilance in India faces several challenges, including a lack of awareness and understanding of the concept among healthcare professionals and the general public, inadequate reporting of adverse drug reactions, and limited resources for monitoring and analyzing reported reactions. Additionally, there is a lack of a centralized reporting system, which makes it difficult to track and investigate adverse reactions. There is also a lack of standardization of the data collected, which makes it difficult to compare and analyze reactions across different regions and populations. Furthermore, the lack of resources and personnel dedicated to pharmacovigilance in India also hinder the ability to effectively monitor and investigate adverse reactions to drugs.

There are several challenges for pharmacovigilance in India, including:Limited resources and infrastructure: The Indian pharmacovigilance system is underfunded and understaffed, making it difficult to effectively monitor and report adverse drug reactions.Lack of awareness and education: Many healthcare professionals and patients in India are not aware of the importance of pharmacovigilance and may not report adverse drug reactions.Limited regulations and enforcement: The regulatory framework for pharmacovigilance in India is not as robust as in developed countries, and enforcement is often weak.Limited access to information: The Indian pharmacovigilance system relies heavily on spontaneous reporting, and there is limited access to information from other sources such as clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance.Quality of data: The quality of data submitted to the Indian pharmacovigilance system is often poor and may not be sufficient for meaningful analysis.Limited capacity for analysis and risk management: The Indian pharmacovigilance system has limited capacity for analyzing and managing risks associated with adverse drug reactions.

What is future of pharmacovigilance in India
The future of pharmacovigilance in India is likely to see continued growth and development. The Indian government has made significant efforts in recent years to strengthen the country’s pharmacovigilance system and regulations. This includes the implementation of new guidelines for reporting and monitoring adverse drug reactions, as well as the establishment of a national pharmacovigilance center. Additionally, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to continue to grow, which will likely lead to increased pharmacovigilance activities.

The future of pharmacovigilance in India is expected to continue growing as the country’s healthcare system and pharmaceutical industry expand. The Indian government has implemented several regulations and guidelines to strengthen pharmacovigilance in the country, such as the establishment of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and the National Pharmacovigilance Programme (NPVP). Additionally, the government is encouraging the use of technology, such as electronic reporting systems, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of pharmacovigilance. As the Indian population continues to grow and the demand for healthcare and pharmaceuticals increases, it is likely that the importance of pharmacovigilance will also continue to grow in India.

The Indian government has also taken steps to improve the training and education of healthcare professionals in pharmacovigilance. This includes the development of guidelines for the reporting and management of adverse drug reactions, as well as the establishment of training programs for healthcare professionals.

Furthermore, the Indian government has also made efforts to increase public awareness about pharmacovigilance and the importance of reporting adverse drug reactions. This includes campaigns to educate patients and healthcare professionals about the importance of reporting adverse reactions, as well as the launch of a national helpline for the reporting of adverse reactions.

In 2017, the Indian government made it mandatory for all pharmaceutical companies to report ADRs to the NPVP. In addition, the government established the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) to establish standards for the quality of drugs in the country.

The NPVP also collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) to improve the pharmacovigilance system in India. In 2020, the NPVP has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology.

In recent years, the Indian government has also made efforts to improve the regulation of clinical trials in the country. In 2019, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act was amended to establish a new regulatory framework for clinical trials, which includes stricter rules for the conduct and reporting of trials.

Overall, India has made significant progress in the field of pharmacovigilance in recent years, with the establishment of a national pharmacovigilance program, the implementation of regulations for the reporting and monitoring of adverse drug reactions, and efforts to improve the training and education of healthcare professionals in pharmacovigilance.

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Original Source: pharmatutor.org

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Kokum Butter in Cosmetics

Yesenia Harris

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Vinay Kumar Singh.
Head-Formulation
Kumar Organic Products Research Centre Pvt. Ltd.,
Bengaluru
Email : formulation_krc@kopresearchcentre.net

Plant-derived oils and butters are among the most popular ingredients for a variety of personal care products including Cream, lotions, Lipstick, lip balm, Make- ups and hair treatments.

The mere mention of kokum brings to mind the small, round, red to purple-hued fruits, relished in curries for their sour flavour, besides being sipped on as a delightful sharbat and chilled juice. While the kokum fruits, scientifically termed Garcinia indica and native to the Western Ghats region of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, are extensively used in cooking traditional Indian dishes, the flattened, black, pliable seeds within yield a rather beneficial substance too, an inherently oily element known as kokum butter and this plant-based matter derived from the kernels of kokum, a crop belonging to the same botanical family as mangosteen, confers astounding merits for glowing skin and silky hair. Kokum fruit is an inseparable part of Konkani cuisine.

Kokum butter is an oleaginous material isolated from the seeds of the kokum fruit. Each raw or ripe kokum fruit contains about 5 to 10 large black seeds, which are separated from the pulp. They are then wiped clean to remove all dirt and debris, squeezed under high pressure and subsequently processed as vegetable oil to obtain kokum butter, otherwise known as kokum oil.

Kokum butter possesses a firm texture and usually appears in shades of light grey, pale white, creamy yellow. It is in fact a hard edible butter at room temperature, used as a substitute for cocoa butter in preparing confectioneries, as well as for topical use on skin and hair. Nevertheless, owing to its ease of melting upon touching the skin and umpteen valuable phytochemical compounds, kokum butter is widely incorporated into commercial personal care products.

Kokum Butter is high in essential saturated fatty acids like Omega 6 and Omega 3 which prevent regularly skin damage by making Skin Healthier and Balancing Moisture in the skin.
Unrefined Kokum butter provides the skin with extreme hydration and moisturization. It consists of a high Anti-inflammatory property that helps to reduce inflamed skin and issues like allergies, infections, rashes, and irritation. Kokum Butter is also enriched with Antioxidants and Vitamin E which helps to immune the skin against free radicals and toxins.

The moisturizing agent in the Raw and Pure Kokum butter prevents the skin from dehydrating and promotes skin cell regeneration. It also combats the visible signs of aging by preventing issues like decoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. Kokum butter not only Benefits Skin Health but can also boost the Health of the Immune System and cell functioning.

Whipped Kokum Butter is proven to be beneficial for hair by promoting Hair Growth. It locks the moisture deep into the skin and nourishes the itchy & dry scalp and also reduces Dandruff & Hair Fall. Organic and unrefined Kokum butter is an ideal ingredient for lip balms, lip gloss, lotions, moisturizers, and ointments because of the presence of rich emollients in it.

Kokum butter is Non-comedogenic so it does not clog pores or cause acne. You can also use whipped Kokum butter for eczema and acne scars. When it is applied on a regular basis the skin will automatically soften and restore its elasticity. The shelf life of Kokum butter is quite long as compared to any other body butter because of the high oxidative stability.
The advantages of kokum butter include :
o No scent. Kokum butter naturally has no scent. Cocoa, coconut, and shea butters are well known for their distinctive fragrances. Forperson sensitive it fragrance, kokum butter may be a better option.
o Easily absorbed. Unlike most other plant butters, kokum butter is remarkably light, absorbed quickly and easily, and not greasy.
o Doesn’t clog pores. U-nlike shea butter, kokum butter won’t clog your pores or cause acne.
o Very structurally stable. Kokum butter is one of the most structurally and chemically stable plant butters available. It works great as a natural emulsifier or hardening agent for homemade cosmetics.

Benefits of Kokum Butter for Skin and Hair
Kokum seeds contain vitamin E and many powerful antioxidants. These nutrients strengthen the immune system and cell function, and help reverse the damage caused by free radicals.1. Skin
It’s no surprise that kokum butter is the ingredient makeup artists often use. This ingredient is loved for its highly nourishing properties. It helps create a smooth texture on the skin. This omega-rich butter can be applied directly on lips, hands, knees, and elbows. Following are benefits Kokum butter has for skin.
o Improves skin cell regeneration
This ingredient is also known for regenerating skin cells. At the same time, it effectively reverses skin cell degeneration, and thus prevents damage even before it occurs. It is a natural emollient, and can thus go to the deepest layers of the epidermis. This helps to heal wounds and chapped skin.
o Reduces visible signs of aging
It is also believed that this buttery ingredient helps address and prevent multiple skin aging signs. These include hyperpigmentation, increased fragility, thinning of the skin, reduced elasticity, dehydration, and dark spots. It also helps create a protective moisture barrier against pollution and seasonal changes.
o Deeply Moisturizes dry skin
It is best known for its ability to be an intense moisturizing agent. It can be used to restore the skin’s moisture content, including your lips, feet, hands, etc. Unlike other kinds of butter used in skin care, kokum oil or butter is not sticky.
It is lightweight, gets easily absorbed, and leaves no signs of greasiness after application. This is why most skincare experts advise it for people with sensitive skin.
o Treats acne
This butter has a strong moisturizing ability and is considered non-comedogenic, which means it does not clog pores. It restores moisture content to dry or irritated skin.
o Reduces skin inflammation
It can help ward off signs of inflammation on the skin regardless of the cause. It also prevents the risk of future inflammation by safeguarding the skin against skin aggressors.
o Best for sensitive skin
Known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties, this naturally-occurring emollient makes the best alternative for sensitive skin. If your skin is sensitive to most skin care products, this ingredient is gentler and easily tolerated by the skin. So, even people with sensitive skin can use kokum butter for skin lightening and brightening.

2. Hair
This nourishing butter is equally helpful in hair care too. Below are some of the most important ways in which this natural butter helps hair.
o Anti-dandruff solution
There are common hair care issues like itchy or flaky scalp, hair loss, and other concerns. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce infection and inflammation on the scalp.
It also keeps the scalp moisturized. This is crucial while preventing dandruff and seasonal dryness, and thus creating a healthy scalp environment.
o Natural hair conditioner
Kokum butter is saturated with omega-3 fatty acids and other vital moisturizing agents that give the hair the right amount of hydration. It moisturizes the scalp and prevents oxidative stress in the hair cuticles.
o Stimulates hair growth
This butter is popularly known to stimulate hair growth. This natural plant butter is a perfect remedy for thick and long hair. It is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and lauric acid content. The fatty acids nourish the scalp and form a protective barrier against environmental or seasonal changes.

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Source: pharmatutor.org

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Lack of Medicines in Greece and the Solution of Generics

Yesenia Harris

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The problem of drug shortages is taking on alarming proportions worldwide. In Greece at the moment, antibiotics, antipyretics and inhaled medicines are in main shortage, but Greek pharmacists noted that more than 200 drugs for almost the entire spectrum of diseases were in permanent shortage.

The Causes
It is noted that 60-80% of the products used in medicines are produced in China and India. Their production has fallen by 60% due to a new outbreak of the coronavirus in China resulting in limited exports. Another reason is the war in Ukraine delaying distributions main reason for drug shortages. Unfortunately, Europe has chosen to depend to a significant extent on China and India in the field of pharmaceutical raw materials. According to high-ranking officials in the sector, the objective of the European Commission is to “move” production from Asian countries to Europe, in order to facilitate the supply of medicines within the continent. Of course, in this particular period of time, with inflation soaring, and the energy crisis exponentially increasing the cost of drug production, a feeling of insecurity is being cultivated as to whether Europe will be able to respond to a new wave of shortages of even more important drugs.

Another cause according to pharmacists, is the ever-increasing parallel exports. That’s because certain medicines can give up to 15 times more profit to the pharmaceutical warehouse if it is available abroad than in a pharmacy in the Greek market. The National Pharmaceutical Organization of Greece (EOF) decided to put a brake on the parallel exports of a large category of medicines for which there are shortages in the Greek market. In addition to the previous measures, the Greek Minister of Health asked the warehouses to immediately declare the stocks they have of the elliptical drugs and they must make them available without delay to the Greek market.

Nevertheless, reports claim that of the drugs whose export was banned on November 22, 80% of them have identical generics, so there is no public health issue.

?he solution that consumers refuse due to unawareness
Generic medications are a class of medication that, while lacking the brand name, are identical to brand-name products in terms of dosage, strength, administration method, quality, and intended use. They are frequently accessible after the original drug’s patent has expired, enabling other pharmaceutical companies to create and market less expensive versions of the drug. The primary motivation behind the development of generic medications is to lower the cost of healthcare. The pharmaceutical business that created the new medicine received a patent for it. This patent grants the corporation the sole right to market the medication for a specified period of time. Because there are no other options during this time, the manufacturer can charge a premium price for the drug. When the patent on the drug expires, other businesses may begin making and marketing generic versions of it. Because the firms making these generic versions do not have to invest in the research and development that went into manufacturing the original drug, they are often far less expensive than their brand-name counterparts. Drugs sold under generic names are as secure and efficient. They function similarly to the original medication and have the same active components. Generic medications must go through extensive testing to guarantee that they are identical to the brand-name medication in terms of quality, safety, and effectiveness. While using generic medications can help reduce the cost of healthcare, there are some instances where the brand-name choice may be chosen.

For instance, if a patient has previously experienced a negative reaction to a generic version of a medication, their doctor may advise that they take the brand-name version to prevent any prospective problems. Finally, we understand that if consumers are made aware of what generics are and of the controls that must be submitted to be released on the market, in periods of shortages we will not face such a serious issue in treatments.

Georgios-Marios Bolmpasis
MPharm Student University of Athens
Vice President of Pharmacy Students Association(Athens)
Member of European Pharmaceutical Students Association
Member of Greek Pharmaceutical Students Federation

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Source Here: pharmatutor.org

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