This is the second FFC that the ingredient has achieved in Japan.
The first claim was for “the improvement of knee extension (range of motion of the knee joint).”
The claim secured from Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) in April claims to support knee movements in activities such as climbing the stairs, squatting, and picking up items from the floor.
Branded UC-II, the ingredient is an undenatured type II collagen derived from chicken cartilage for knee and joint support. Lonza has been researching on the ingredient for about 20 years.
Since the starts of FFC system at 2015, there have been 39 FFCs containing UC-II launched in Japan.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, the company said that the newly secured claim was targeted at mobility issues that middle-aged and elderly consumers encounter in their daily lives.
It believes that the newly registered UC-II claim would resonate better with the consumers.
“The Japanese consumers like to have concrete and tangible information on health claims,” said Taiko Ijichi, business development manager at Lonza Consumer Health Ingredients Japan.
“Actually, these are the feedback from our customers who are looking for health claims that relate to their lifestyle situations.
“We also did a survey which showed that consumers are not only looking for functional claims, but also claims related to knee discomfort that they face in their lifestyle situations,” said Esther Shing, marketing lead of Japan, Lonza Consumer Health Ingredients Japan.
The lifestyle situations include sitting on the floor with knees bent, climbing the stairs and squatting, and the target consumers are the baby boomers.
The company came to the second claim following a follow-up analysis of a 120-day RCT conducted in 2012, said Dr Zain Saiyed, head of R&D, Ingredients Innovation at Lonza.
Published in The Federation of American Societes for Experimental Biology (FASEB) last year, the findings showed that subjects who took UC-II showed a statistically significant improvement in Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) in adults between 30 and 65 years old.
For instance, there was reduced pain during standing upright and going up or down the stairs, decreased discomfort in climbing ascending stairs, or bending down to pick up items from the floor, as well as squatting.
Asked how the two claims differ from one another, he explained that knee extension – the first claim secured – was a pivotal mechanism for daily mobility, and the better the knee extension, the better the knee movement – the second claim secured.
“Knee flexion and knee extension are the basic mechanisms by which our body or knees help us to move. They look at the flexibility of the knees. We have to use it in all daily activities, whether we are sitting, walking, running or lunging.
“Knee movement is like a consequence. If you have a better knee flexibility, then you are able to move better, walk further and longer.
“The more flexible your knees are, the more movement, the more physically active you are, that is the relationship between the two,” he explained.
So far, most of the products containing UC-II in Japan are in the form of hard capsules or tablets. However, Lonza has also managed to incorporate it into food formats, such as gummies and bars – which have been launched in the US.
In fact, the firm has also managed to add the ingredient into chips and carbonated drinks, Dr Saiyed said, as the ingredient could withstand high heat and pH changes.