The health and dietary supplements market in India are around $2 billion and expected to double by $4 billion in upcoming years. This means the compounded annual growth rate of the health supplements market can be expected to grow around 16 per cent in the next five years. Unfortunately, around 60-70% of health supplements sold across the country are unregistered, forged and unapproved as studied by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
The study titled “Indian Nutraceuticals, Herbals and Functional Foods Industry: Emerging on Global Map” by ASSOCHAM along with business consulting firm RNCOS revealed false mineral and vitamin supplements will become a major opportunity for nutraceutical companies driven by the rising demand of consumers seeking health-conscious products.
Today, many dietary and health supplements are sold in the marketplace in the form of soft gels, tablets, capsules, liquids, powders and gel caps. The products can be purchased by consumers through online and offline chemist shops easily. At present more than 78% of adolescents in India consume dietary supplements in some of the other forms to improve immunity, enhance physical appearance and increase their energy level.
With such information, it becomes necessary to differentiate between fake and original health supplements to ensure whatever we consume brings positive effects on us. Below, we have mentioned few ways that can help you in differentiating fake health supplements from original ones.
Fake health supplement packaging
To catch a fake product way before buying, all you need to do is analyse product packaging just by reading the label and markings carefully. Since fake health supplements buyers usually seek profiteering more than serving, they tend to use low-quality labels and packaging style. No matter how well a product is packaged, there will always be a difference between original and fake ones. You need to fast check the quality of print used for product specifications such as product contents and nutritional values. If you have bought the same product previously, you can easily match the same with the new one. If the product is original, you may find no difference at all. Just take some time and analyse closely.
Many smartphones today are enabled with apps that can read and decode barcodes or QR scanning. A quick scan is all just needed that will help you in finding the website associated with the brand. If the product is genuine, the barcode will lead you to its original webpage from where you can find its authenticity signs.
Fake health supplements product sealing
Just like fake products packaging comes with certain loopholes so does its sealing. Besides looking for any sign of misspelled sentences or errors in the information, do check whether the health supplement box is sealed properly or not. Do consult if the product is tampered with or return immediately if the seal is broken. Typically, a health supplement producing company will never produce low-quality products with tapered seals.
Check for FSSAI approvals
If you are buying a health supplement in India whether homemade or imported from foreign countries, you will find the approval of the Food Safety and Standard Association of India (FSSAI) mark. This means the health regulatory body of India has approved the buying and selling of the product. You must know that health supplements are approved by them only after they undergo several rigorous tests and quality checks before the product is allowed to be sold publicly.
Look for hologram and MRP sticker
Holograms are used globally to provide brands with a sign of authenticity. One of the most effective ways to distinguish between fake health supplements and original ones is by examining the brand’s hologram. Fake companies usually do not have the appropriate technology to replicate the original brand hologram. Similarly, fake health supplements usually have price sticker pasted as compared to original ones that use printed ones. By analysing the hologram along with the price tag, it will become easy for you to compare fake products which may have issues with either hologram or with a price tag.
Check price difference of similar health supplement brands
Usually, original health supplements price will be more than the fake ones. For example, brands like Ultimate Nutrition, MyProtein and Dymatize puts lots of investments for import duties or manufacturing process which makes them costly. Hence, if you get products of these famous brands in cheaper rice, it’s fake.
Fake health supplements test in water
After making a physical examination of the product’s outer image and price factors, you can test it at home by dissolving a spoonful of it in water. Please note that while dissolving the health supplements, the water must be at room temperature. Just add the product, stir for few seconds and observe. If the powder is fake, it will leave some residue in the glass while the authentic one will mix thoroughly.
Although you may take this step to be too simple, believe me, it is very effective. If you have health supplements in the form of tablets, you will find original ones to be smoother than the fake ones which have an uneven texture. Regarding taste and smell, fake health supplements usually smell bad and pungent. Some tastes horrible while others are made too sweet.
Always buy health supplements from reputable stores
If a person shows eagerness to sell you any health supplement, beware that the product can be fake. They may reduce prices or may have changed the label completely. Secondly, we would always advise you to buy health supplements from reputed stores only whether the store is physical or online. A reputed store will rarely attempt to sell fake product and would take necessary precautions to ensure product quality.
Buying health supplements online
Although buying health supplements in physical stores is easier, people opt for online store purchase due to card discounts and a variety of brands availability. Buying health supplements online can be tricky as you may not know what you will get from the shopping site. Therefore, you must mail some queries before ordering your product to the sales manager of the site asking: whether the packaging has an official distributor stamp or logo, if they are home-made or imported and if they have a return policy in case, you find something missing.