Japan Focus: Kirin and Ezaki Glico launches functional beer and coffee and the ways to increase protein absorption

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

This round up includes features on new functional food innovation by Japanese firms. ©Getty Images
This round up includes features on new functional food innovation by Japanese firms. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Japan, Kirin, Beer, Coffee

In this round up of developments related to the Japanese health foods market, we look at how some firms, such as Kirin and Ezaki Glico have launched beer and coffee that produce fat-reducing and stress relieving functions respectively.
No beer belly: Kirin releases non-alcoholic beer with fat-reducing function

Kirin is preparing to launch its non-alcoholic beer with a Food with Functional Claim (FFC) label in Japan.

The beer, Kirin Karada Free,​ contains matured hop extract (S-Ignite​) which the firm claims to help reduce abdominal fat.

Toshiaki Hyodo from the corporate communication at Kirin Holdings told NutraIngredients-Asia​, that there was an increasing awareness in health and moderate exercise, “and consumers are looking to obtain (health) benefits from drinking beverages​.”

Functional coffee: Ezaki Glico release series of drinks for blood sugar and stress relief

Ezaki Glico has launched a new series of coffee in Japan​ under the Food with Function Claim (FFC) label.

The three coffee milk drinks within the series include Cafeore Yuru-reset (180ml), Cafeore Yuru-release (180ml) and Mild Cafeore Yuru-reset (500ml).

The company said these beverages respond to the growing health consciousness of consumers.

Double impact: Taking animal and vegetable protein together increases absorption

Simultaneous intake of vegetable and animal proteins may increase efficient protein absorption and possible muscle synthesis in the body, according to research from Japanese health food manufacturer Q’Sai Co.

The company observed that proteins had different absorption patterns depending on their types, hence they conducted a study to find out whether consuming multiple proteins could help the efficient absorption of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA), which are said to contribute to muscle synthesis.

It carried out a study on two groups of mice. Group 1 was given food containing both vegetable protein (soybean) and animal protein (milk). Group 2 was only given food containing animal protein (milk).

Asahi Group adds two new beauty supplements to rapidly growing Dear-Natura brand

Asahi Group Foods has released two new food with function claims​ (FFC) labelled beauty supplements, Dear-Natura Style Placenta x Collagen and Dear-Natura Style Iron x Collagen.

According to Yoshiie Horii, external public relations at Asahi Group Holdings: “More Japanese people are gradually willing to manage health maintenance by themselves, and this includes nutricosmetics​.”

Yoshiie said that the series supplement market in Japan – products with multiple variations - reached JPY 51.6 billion (US$480m) in 2018, a 10% increase than the previous year.

Higher consumption of chocolate linked to lower risk of gestational diabetes in Japanese women

A higher intake of chocolate before pregnancy was associated with a lower risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)​ in Japanese women.

Researchers in Japan believed they were the first to examine the association between chocolate consumption and GDM.

The findings from the prospective cohort study were published in the British Journal of Nutrition​.

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