Despite recommendations from the ICMR, a survey shows that 73% of urban affluent Indians are still protein deficient. Experts highlighted the importance of poultry protein in combating nutritional challenges, emphasising increased consumption of poultry products.

In a concerted effort to address the pressing issue of protein deficiency among the Indian population, the Poultry Federation of India (PFI), with support from the United States Poultry and Eggs Export Council (USAPEEC), recently hosted a session in New Delhi on May 18, 2024, that brought together leading industry experts to highlight the critical role of poultry protein in addressing India’s nutritional challenges. With the assistance of prominent industry experts, this served as a platform to push for increased protein intake, particularly through poultry products such as chicken, duck, turkey, and eggs.

The PFI and USAPEEC recently forged a collaborative partnership to promote poultry proteins, which signals a significant step forward in promoting awareness and consumption of poultry protein as a pivotal component of daily diets.

Protein deficiency remains a critical concern in India, as highlighted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Despite established recommendations emphasising the importance of adequate protein consumption for optimal health, the nation continues to grapple with subpar dietary protein intake, significantly below recommended levels. According to a recent survey by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB), a staggering 73% of urban affluent individuals are protein deficient, with a vast majority unaware of their daily protein requirements or suitable protein sources.

Mr. Ranpal Dhanda – President, Poultry Federation of India, Mr. Ravinder Singh Sandhu – Secretary, Poultry Federation of India, Mr. Ricky Thaper – Treasurer, Poultry Federation of India, Ms. Pratibha Dixit – Nutritionist/Dietician, Artemis Hospital, Dr. Ajit Ranade – Vice President, World Veterinary Poultry Association and Mr. Shiven Khanna – USAPEEC were key speakers.

Mr. Ranpal Dhanda, President of the Poultry Federation of India, addressed protein deficiency in India. He stated, “We’re glad to collaborate with USAPEEC  to raise awareness about the health benefits of poultry products. Through the combined knowledge, our objective is to amplify understanding regarding poultry products’ nutritional benefits and elevate health and wellness standards.”

Mr. Ricky Thaper, Treasurer of the Poultry Federation of India, added that Chicken meat and eggs are perceived as healthier alternatives to red meat, driving up the demand. Poultry products are often more affordable than other protein sources, making them accessible to a broader segment of the population. Mr. Thaper further stated that in the post-COVID-19 pandemic phase, the demand for protein-rich food like poultry meat and eggs has increased sharply. The growing awareness regarding health and wellness is further driving the demand for a protein-rich diet.

During the Session on Poultry Protein, Dr. Pratibha Dixit emphasised the imperative of raising awareness about protein’s significance in daily nutrition. She stressed the need to educate individuals on appropriate protein intake levels and the diverse protein sources available in the diet. Poultry products emerged as standout examples of complete and bioavailable proteins, offering a comprehensive nutritional profile essential for overall health.

Dr Jeetendra Verma, President of the World Veterinary Poultry Association (India), explained the goodness of chicken meat. He said that Chicken meat is a high-quality protein containing all nine essential amino acids in the right proportions. It’s a Lean Protein with high nutrient density, which means it provides essential vitamins and minerals, including B-complex vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, and niacin. Chicken protein also helps in muscle management and growth; hence, it is very popular and essential for athletes and individuals looking to build muscle mass.

Further elucidating the nutritional merits of poultry protein, Dr Ajit Ranade, Vice President of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, emphasised its role as a complete protein source. Highlighting the goodness of healthy proteins, fats, and micronutrients inherent in poultry products, he underscored their efficacy in bolstering immunity and overall well-being.

The session allowed attendees to delve deeper into the nuances of protein consumption and its implications for public health. Discussions revolved around strategies to enhance awareness, promote dietary diversity, and expand opportunities for poultry products.

The collaborative efforts between PFI and USAPEEC signify a multifaceted approach encompassing education, research and development and nutritional awareness. By collaborating with their expertise, this initiative aims to catalyse a paradigm shift in addressing India’s protein deficiency challenge, positioning poultry protein as a cornerstone of a balanced and nourishing diet.

In conclusion, the session was pivotal in galvanising stakeholders towards combatting protein deficiency. Poultry protein holds immense promise in fortifying India’s nutritional landscape.

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