Immune health first: Kirin’s iMUSE brand to relaunch after receiving first immunity FFC claims in Japan

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Kirin has launched its iMUSE Functional Food brand with six new products containing Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma registered as functional foods with immune support function, the first in Japan ©Kirin
Kirin has launched its iMUSE Functional Food brand with six new products containing Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma registered as functional foods with immune support function, the first in Japan ©Kirin

Related tags Japan Kirin Probiotics Immunity FFC

Kirin Holdings and Kirin Beverage are set to relaunch its existing iMUSE brand as a functional food brand in Japan after six of its products received Food with Function Claims (FFC).

The iMUSE brand contains Kirin’s proprietary Lactococcus lactis​ strain Plasma, with the six products marketed to support immune function in healthy people. These will be launched in November.

Kirin Holdings will launch three supplements, the iMUSE Professional Lactococcus lactisstrain Plasma supplement​, iMUSELactococcus lactis strain Plasma supplement​ (15-day supply) and iMUSELactococcus lactisstrain Plasma supplement ​(7-day supply).

Kirin Beverage will launch three beverages, the iMUSE Yogurt Taste, iMUSE ​Lemon and iMUSE Water.

This is also Japan’s first FFC products registered for immune health​.

Ataka Takashima, spokeswomen for Kirin, explained: “Immunity is easily regarded as a medical effect from disease prevention to pharmaceutical efficacy, research evidence on immunity and the labeling based on this evidence have made it difficult to register a notification of immunity suitable for the system​.”

Immune strain

The immune function of Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma ​was first discovered in 2010, and backed with human clinical trials​ and animal studies.

Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma​ works by stimulating the plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) which acts as the commander-in-chief of the immune system.

pDC then activates all the immune cells including NK, Killer T, B and Helper T cells to support the maintenance of the immune system in healthy individuals. Lactococcus Plasma​ differs from other lactic acid bacteria which only partially activates the immune cells, mainly NK cells only.

The Lactococcus lactis​ strain Plasma is a type strain of Lactococcus lactis​, which is a natural lactic acid bacterium mainly used for the fermentation of cheese and yogurt. The Lactococcus lactis​ strain Plasma is a joint product by Kirin Holdings, Koiwai Dairy Products and Kyowa Hakko Bio.

Growing brand

The iMUSE brand recorded total sales growth of 220% from January to August this year.

The beverage products will be sold at supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide. The firm is also looking to promote the beverage products in Vietnam and Singapore.

For the supplements, iMUSE Professional will be sold at pharmacies, clinics, hospital as well as Kyowa Hakko Bio Company’s website. iMUSE Professional is a supplement developed based on the advice of doctors and is a nutritional supplement containing vitamin C.

On the other hand, the iMUSE Lactococcus lactis​ strain Plasma ​supplement does not contain vitamin C, and instead contains oligosaccharides. It will be available in 60 capsules (15-day supply) and 28 capsules (7-day supply).

Products in the iMUSE range contain 100 billion units of Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma​.

Besides the six products released in November, there are also two other FFC-registered products under the existing iMUSE line, the Koiwai iMUSE Namanyu Yogurt and Koiwai iMUSE Drink Yogurt, although launch dates have not been announced.

We’ll be shining the spotlight on Probiotics and Prebiotics in our Growth Asia 2020 interactive broadcast series. Register for free here.

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