More FSMPs to come: Nestlé Health Science China opens new product innovation centre

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé Health Science China's product innovation centre in Taizhou. ©Nestlé
Nestlé Health Science China's product innovation centre in Taizhou. ©Nestlé

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Nestlé Health Science China has officially inaugurated its product innovation centre in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, to beef up the firm’s portfolio of Foods for Special Medical Purposes (FSMPs) in China.

It will operate in parallel with Nestlé Health Science product innovation centres in the US and Switzerland, sharing the core R&D technologies.

It will focus on developing products that cater to local Chinese taste and unique dietary habits.

“The product innovation centre will continue to carry out localized innovations, develop formulas according to Chinese tastes and nutritional diet characteristics, and enable more patients to receive nutritional treatment.

“It also helps to further narrow the gap in clinical nutrition treatment,”​ said Cecily Gu, regional business head of Nestlé Health Science Greater China Region.

As sure, there is a need to work with hospital doctors to understand the nutritional needs of the patients.

With seven employees currently, the firm aims to further grow its team in the innovation centre.

Portfolio

Besides the innovation centre, the firm’s factory in Taizhou is also the first to gain the approval to manufacture FSMPs from the Chinese authorities.

Developed by the firm’s China team, its first protein-based liquid nutrition supplement, Nutren® Novasource GI®, gained the FSMP registration certificate in China during July this year. It gained manufacture approval in August.

As of end November, the firm had 11 FSMPs that have obtained the registration certificate from Chinese authorities. They range from products for children to products for elderly and hospital patients. 

The firm also revealed that as part of its global sourcing practice, 70% of the ingredients which are used to make the products are imported from overseas. 

The firm currently operates a medium scale production line in China, which it believes provide more agility in gathering consumer feedback and improving the formula.

Last year, it was reported​ that Nestlé  is aiming to produce 20 new FSMPs in China within two years following the opening of the Taizhou factory.

Long-term incubation

The firm believes that conducting a large amount of research is needed to develop the most suitable formula, and hence, the FSMP market, which is still in its nascent stage in China, may face a “long-term incubation period”.

The need to meet regulatory standards further adds on to the duration spent on creating the product.

This is according to Michel GARDET, Global Business Head, Medical Nutrition of Nestlé Health Science.

“We not only must meet the production thresholds required by regulatory authorities, but also understand the health of different consumers through a large amount of research and develop the corresponding formula.”

He added that the professional medical personnel would need to translate research findings into common, easily understood terms for the consumers.

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