Pre/probiotics and TCM: Singapore wellness group launches functional beverages, cookies combining East-West concept
Known as the Imperium Ultimate series, there are four SKUs to this product range, which will be launched first in Singapore this month.
The four products include powdered beverage sachets, cookies, probiotics capsules, and capsules products for increasing the body's nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels for anti-ageing purposes.
The company, which provides spa services based on TCM concepts, runs over 20 beauty salons known as JOYRE TCMedi Spa across Singapore.
Imperium is the firm’s first functional foods and supplement range that combines both TCM and modern science.
The project has been three years in the working, Queenie Yang, chairman and founder, told NutraIngredients-Asia.
She said that the range was developed to help consumers take in nutrients via convenient food formats without having to drink TCM herbal concoctions which were often less appealing in taste.
The products, developed by the company in consultation with scientists from Singapore and the US, are designed based on the “5Rs” concept – remove, replace, reinoculate, repair, and rebalance.
The products were also designed to fit into the daily lifestyle, said Yang.
For example, its Ultimate Cleanse product, a chocolate powdered beverage sachet, was developed to promote digestive health and provide energy.
Containing the clinically studied fibre trademarked Fibersol, a blend of 26 fruits and vegetables extracts, ganoderma extracts, enzymes, and eight probiotics strains, the product is meant to aid bowel movement, promote better absorption of nutrients, and provide energy.
The eight probiotics strains used are Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactococcus casei, Lactococcus lactis subsp. Lactobacillus casei, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Designed as a powder beverage, Yang said that the product could be taken during breakfast or as a meal replacement.
“Most of the gut health products in the market promote bowel movement, but they do not necessarily replenish the digestive systems with nutrients for providing us with energy, which is why we have added Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum) into the formula,” Yang said.
Ganoderma contains high amounts of polysaccharides, tri-terpenoids which could act as sources of energy.
Five types of Ganoderma were used, including Ganoderma japonicum, Ganoderma lucidum (commonly known as Lingzhi), Ganoderma applanatum, Phellinus linteus, and Mauroderma rugosum.
Aside from chocolate beverage, the Imperium line also features a functional cookie under the product name Ultimate Mind.
Similarly, this product could be taken during breakfast together with Ultimate Cleanse and is designed to promote cognitive function.
Each cookie contains phosphatidylserine – a phospholipid found in the neural membranes, black bean hull, Hericium erinaceus extract, eyebright, wolfberry, and maple extract.
The other two products are Ultimate Restore and Ultimate Youth.
Ultimate Restore is a probiotic capsule product containing Lactobacillus plantarum SNK and Morinaga's shield lactic acid M-1.
To protect the probiotics from harsh stomach acid, the probiotics are protected by an acid-resistant outer shell, so that the probiotics could reach and colonise the intestinal tract.
On the other hand, Ultimate Youth is a product aimed at increasing the body's NAD+ levels.
A co-enzyme, NAD+ is responsible for regulating metabolism, producing energy, and contributing to DNA repair. The depletion of NAD+ depletion has been associated with ageing and metabolic disorders.
“Developing this line of products has been on my mind for a while, we decided to launch the products after we have managed to find clinically-backed ingredients,” Yang said.
Primarily made by the firm’s strategist manufacturing partner in Japan and the US, the products will be available for sale online and in all JOYRE TCMedi Spa salon in Singapore from October.
Yang added that the firm was working with five other medical aesthetics firms in selling the products in Singapore.
She revealed that the firm was also in talks with other TCM and western clinics in promoting the products.
Sub-optimal health trends
Based on her observations of users who have visited her spa salon, Yang noticed that users have often complained about experiencing symptoms of suboptimal health.
Examples include weight problems, dry skin, acne, and dark circles.
“These users have complained about their muscle ache and headache problems, but when they visit the doctor and do a CT scan, there was actually no real medical problems with them, which means that they are experiencing symptoms of suboptimal health.
“This is why the 5Rs is important to help prevent the symptoms from worsening and developing into medical diseases,” she said.
With Imperium, the company hopes to make a name for itself overseas.
This will be done by selling the Imperium products via cross-border e-commerce.
“We will be targeting places such as Hong Kong, South East Asia, and China, because they have a large Chinese population and they recognise the benefits of combining TCM and modern science,” Yang said.
Other potential markets include Australia and Japan.
She added that there were plans to partner offline TCM businesses.
“Due to COVID-19, some offline businesses have experienced setbacks because of reduced foot traffic. We hope to partner some of these businesses with TCM background and provide them with products to sell online.”