Japan Focus: Liquid formula approvals and probiotic launches for major brands feature in our latest country review

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Japan Focus: Liquid formula approvals and probiotic launches for major brands feature in our latest country review

Related tags: Japan, Health claims, Probiotics, Liquid milk, Infant formula, Collagen, Nutricosmetics

Read about Yakult and Nissin's probiotic launches, Meiji and Ezaki Glico's liquid infant formula approvals, and the latest on research and regulation in this month's Japan news round-up.

Exaggerated claims found in 83 Japanese 'health food' products: Consumer body

Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) found that 83 'health food' products​ carried false or exaggerated claims during a quarterly inspection from October to December last year.

The false or exaggerated claims​ included the treatment or prevention of diseases such as arteriosclerosis, cold and influenza; improvement of bodily functions and alleviation of hangovers; and beautification of the body's appearance by improving dry skin.

These so-called 'health food' products ranged from alcohol and coffee to other general foods.

Liquid formula firsts: Meiji and Ezaki Glico receive green light to make products in Japan

Meiji and Ezaki Glico are the first two companies approved to produce liquid infant formula in Japan​, after Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare gave the green light.

Both firms said their infant milk products were modelled closely on human breast milk. 

Meiji will be launching the liquid infant formula in steel cans, with a capacity of 240ml per can, while Ezaki Glico will be selling the product in carton packs, with a capacity of 125ml per pack.

Probiotics post-natural disasters: Proprietary Morinaga product aids mental health of flood victims

Morinaga Milk has announced study results showing that its proprietary probiotic, Morinaga Bifidobacterium infantis ​M-63, has beneficial effects on the mental health of flood victims​.

The study, conducted in collaboration with University Sains Malaysia (USM) between September and December 2015 and published in the journal Beneficial Microbes​, focused on 53 victims of the December 2014 flood in Malaysia.

At the time, the flood was considered one of the country's worst in decades. The resulting lack of environmental hygiene led to exposure to elevated levels of pathogenic bacteria, which are known to cause a variety of physical complications, including digestive illness.

Yakult debuts with zero-fat probiotic drink in Denmark

Japanese probiotic firm Yakult recently debuted in Denmark​, as it sought to expand its European business.

The '0% fat' Yakult probiotic drink has been available for sale in Denmark since January 21. The firm aims to sell a daily average of 1,040 bottles throughout this year. Asked the reasons for venturing into Denmark, Hideki Maruyama from Yakult Honsha's public relations department said the decision was made after researching new markets.

"Guided by our corporate philosophy of 'contributing to the health and happiness of people around the world', and with the aim of continually expanding our business in Europe, Yakult Honsha and Yakult Europe researched possible new countries for entry."

From Cup Noodles to nutricosmetics: Japan's Nissin launches probiotic and collagen beauty drink

Japanese food firm Nissin, best known for its Cup Noodles, is venturing into the nutricosmetics scene with the launch of its beauty beverage​, Fermented Hyalmoist Lactobacillus Drink.

The first beauty product by the company, Hyalmoist claims to provide moisturising benefits, reduce skin damage from UV rays, and decrease melanin production. The product has been available for sale since Monday, January 28.

Hyalmoist Lactobacillus​ (Lactobacillus gasseri​ N320), the probiotic ingredient present in the product, was selected after the firm had screened 1,000 different bacteria strains.

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