With this partnership, Chr. Hansen’s Human Health business unit will provide probiotic-related products for health food applications, including tablets, capsules and powder sticks. Powders for infant formula will follow later.
Teijin will have the right to import and sell probiotics ingredients manufactured by Chr. Hansen within Japan.
This is Teijin’s first entry into probiotics, as the company has been working on prebiotics such as its BARLEYmax super barley and water-soluble dietary fiber for gut health.
The company hopes with this distribution agreement, it can ultimately expand its functional food material business by adding compatible probiotic ingredients into its existing prebiotic products, and eventually aid them in entering the symbiotic market in the future.
According to Carlo Appennini, Chr. Hansen’s vice president of global sales, human health: “The prebiotic space is closely linked to the probiotic space and there is an increased focus on combination products and how they interact.”
“Probiotics are very well accepted by the Japanese population overall, and there are already many food products with probiotics, as well as supplements.”
There will be six types of probiotics products marketed in Japan.
One strain is the BB-12 probiotic strain, which has been approved for a number of Foods with Functional Claims (FFC).
Another product is UREX, which is lactic acid bacteria formulation commonly used to prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract.
According to Teijin, Japan’s functional food market is predicted at JPY1.5 trillion (USD13.6bn), and the company wants to jump on this opportunity.
Appennini told us the firms expect the Japanese government to allow the addition of probiotics into infant formula products within a couple of years.