'Moving beyond gut health': Chr. Hansen probiotic gets South Korean immunity patent

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Chr. Hansen says APAC's demand for probiotics shows no signs of slowing. ©GettyImages
Chr. Hansen says APAC's demand for probiotics shows no signs of slowing. ©GettyImages

Related tags South korea Immune system

Chr. Hansen's probiotic BB12 has been granted a patent in South Korea for boosting immune response in conjunction with a flu vaccine.

The move follows similar approvals in Europe and China, issued in 2015.

The Korea patent, which took over four years to secure,  covers “an immune boosting composition comprising probiotic bacterial strain Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (BB-12®) with the deposit number DSM15954 for use in conjunction with an influenza vaccine”.

The firm’s APAC sales director for human health Gernot Stadlmann said the development would strengthen its competiveness in what is a booming market.

“Asia-Pacific is the biggest growth region from probiotics, and China, Japan and South Korea are really taking the lead,”​ he said.

In fact, probiotics has overtaken vitamins and minerals in South Korea.

“This patent will help us open more doors and convince customers that our probiotics work and can deliver benefits beyond gut and digestive health.”

Market momentum

Last year Stadlmann told us the company was enjoying its best year for probiotic sales in the region.

And he told us the market was showing no signs of slowing this year.

“It is quite unbelievable after last year’s huge growth, but the boom is ongoing. I think we have been able to position ourselves well and we’ve partnered with right players.”

He added that Chr. Hansen had also emerged unscathed from the introduction of China’s new infant formula rules.

The measures, which came into force in January, saw over 1,000 products removed from the shelves as officials sought limit the number of SKUs each brand could have.

“The number of products that had to be taken off the shelves was remarkable, but we found that our partners chose to keep the ones containing BB12," ​he added.

Previous studies on BB12 have highlighted both its immunity-enhancing properties​ alongside an influenza vaccination and in infant formula.

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