Major poultry producing country, Vietnam has started on a project to produce supplements rich in glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate (CS) derived from poultry processing for its high proportion of osteoarthritis sufferers. This interesting project is also indirectly contributing to stable poultry production and raising farmers’ incomes.
The project is part of a biotechnology development and application project in the processing industry managed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and assigned to the NOVA Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Institute.
Project Manager, Dr. Dang Tran Hoang explained that CS and glucosamine are active ingredients that support the formation of bone connective tissue and reduce calcium loss, commonly used to treat osteoarthritis, inflammation, breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage.
According to data from Transparency Market Research (TMR), with a growing global ageing population, the CS market is estimated to reach US$457.7 million by the end of 2025, compared with just US$343.9 million in 2016.
Around 35% of Vietnam’s population is estimated to be suffering from osteoarthritis, particularly affecting their knee joint areas. WHO has ranked Vietnam as one of the countries with the highest rate of osteoarthritis in the world. Presently, the country relies heavily on imports for most of its drugs and supplements to treat osteoarthritis, including those containing CS and glucosamine.
Dr Dang said that by-products of poultry processing containing CS and glucosamine include the feet, trachea, breast and cartilage of chickens and ducks. While shark fin cartilage or crocodile trachea contained only 18% of CS, chicken breast cartilage contains 30%. In addition, the CS content in duck trachea is 3.6%, while in chicken feet cartilage the CS content is about 2.5% and 13% glucosamine.
Chicken feet cartilage is readily available in domestic chicken processing facilities and imported chickens. It is estimated that a poultry processing facility can supply 2 tonnes of chicken feet cartilage daily, which is currently only used for animal feed.
By having a domestic industry to produce glucosamine and CS, the country will be less reliant on imports. Vietnam plans to build the technology to produce glucosamine and CS from poultry by-products with a volume of 150-200 kg per batch, yielding 300,000 glucosamine and CS-rich capsules.