Moringa as a rich source of certain macro and micro nutrients is gaining popularity as an ingredient in producing food supplements. Moringa seed, leaf, and the flower is finding large application in food industry. There has been a growing demand for moringa leaf as an alternative food source to combat malnutrition among children and infants. Use of moringa ingredients as a food fortificant is on the rise in many parts of the world including Africa.
The use of moringa ingredients in fortifying food is gaining much attention worldwide owing to the studies that have shown potential use of different parts of moringa tree in food application. Recent studies have also shown positive effects of moringa in blood sugar regulation by affecting carbohydrate metabolism. This is driving demand for moringa in a most common dietary form including tea and powder.
Moringa ingredients are widely being used to improve the nutritional value of staple food across countries. Bread is a staple in many countries, hence, researchers and food companies are finding ways to completely replace wheat flour used in bread to make it gluten-free. This, however, poses a major challenge in the food industry. Recently, researchers found that combining moringa leaf, seed, and flower powder in bread dough prepared using wheat or any other flour can improve its nutritional value.
Moringa Leaf Powder as Alternative to Canola Meal in Poultry Diets
Considering the health benefits and nutritional value, there is a huge potential for moringa leaf power replacing canola meal as a non-conventional ingredient in poultry diets. A study was conducted recently to investigate the effects of moringa leaf powder on immune response, blood hematology and growth performance of broilers. The study found that moringa leaf powder as a vegetable protein source can enhance the immune response to infectious diseases without any change in weight, and blood hematology in broilers.
Diet supplemented with moringa leaf powder can lead to low mortality and enhance growth performance, meat yield and serum cholesterol of broilers. This is leading to the rise in demand for moringa leaf as a cost-effective and beneficial alternative in poultry food production, especially in the developing countries.
Poultry production companies in the developing regions are looking for a cheap and safe alternative source of protein. This is driving demand for moringa leaf powder as an alternative to other expensive sources of protein in poultry feed.
Europe Holds Potential Growth Opportunities for Moringa
Although the European market for moringa is still underdeveloped, there has been an increase in the sales of moringa ingredients across various countries in Europe. This can be attributed to the rise in consumer awareness about the health benefits of consuming moringa products. Suppliers in the developing countries are increasingly exporting moringa to Europe. Meanwhile, African suppliers have also been found entering the European market owing to the growing demand for moringa food products.
According to the CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2017, export of moringa including leaf powder, seed, and other products from India was estimated to be around 100 to 200 tons to Europe, from around 500 tons global exports. Changing perception of health among consumers in Europe is one of the major factors driving moringa demand in the region.
Innovative product development in Europe is likely to fuel sales of moringa in the future. Major food and beverages manufacturers in Europe have started using moringa as an ingredient in food and beverages products. Additionally, there is a significant demand for food supplements promoting immune system health. This results in the new opportunities for producers of moringa providing moringa supplements.
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Currently, there is a gap in demand and supply for organically certified moringa leaf powder. This supply and demand gap opens opportunities for producers supplying organic moringa to meet the growing demand across various countries in Europe.