Japan focus: New FFC data, Suntory’s personalised nutrition endeavours and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Flag of Japan. ©Getty Images
Flag of Japan. ©Getty Images

Related tags Japan

This round-up features latest research findings from Japan, Suntory’s foray into personalised nutrition, Nissin’s launch of LAB-containing FFCs, and more.

Innovation via regulation: SMEs and major players reaping rewards from Japan’s functional food regulations

Japan’s Food with Function Claims (FFC) regulation has encouraged more SMEs to enter the market, while the major players which have launched products under the scheme are enjoying higher growth, according to new data.

A recent study has shown that smaller-scale companies make up many of the new entrants under the FFC system.

It also showed that FFC companies have a higher CAGR than dietary supplement players that had stuck solely to the Foods for Specific Health Uses (FOSHU)​ regime.

For gut and brain: Nissin launches FFCs containing lactic acid bacteria for the first time

Nissin Foods Group seeks to tap into interest in the gut-brain axis and meet demand for products targeted at irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). About one in every 10 Japanese suffer from the condition.

The new Foods with Function Claims (FFCs) launched were Bifidobacterium N708 Tablets and Bifidobacterium N61 Tablets. The former claims to relieve stomachache, while the latter was designed to improve memory and attention.

The company believes that using lactic acid bacteria to support cognitive function could help differentiate its product from those with similar functions. 

‘Transitional time’: Suntory discusses Japan personalised nutrition plan following investment in UK start-up

Suntory revealed its plans to launch localised personalised nutrition services and products in Japan, following a US$3.06m investment in UK start-up Remedy Health.

Remedy Health, through its brand Nourish3d, uses 3D printing to create a seven-layer personalised chewable unique to each individual. The nutrients required by each individual are decided based on their answers to a diet and lifestyle-related questionnaire.

The partnership was sparked by Suntory’s intent to expand its health foods portfolio to include gummies.

Probiotic intake improves bowel movement in elderly with chronic constipation – study

The supplementation of Bifidobacterium longum BB536​ has been shown to improve bowel movement, specifically stool frequency, in elderly with chronic constipation, according to a RCT in Japan.

This randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted on outpatients at the Juntendo Tokyo Koto Geriatric Medical Center.

In total, 80 seniors diagnosed with chronic constipation received either probiotics or placebo powder sachet daily for four weeks. Significant improvement in the CSS score was seen in the intervention group by the end of the trial and even four weeks after.

Exclusive Japan FFC data: Weight management, stress relief, cognitive health products trending

FFCs that claim to support weight management, fatigue and stress relief, and cognitive function are trending in Japan, according to new data from the “In-depth Analysis of FFC Notified During the First Half of FY2022” report by consultancy firm Smooth Link Inc.

Between April and September 2022, a total of 580 FFCs were notified to the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA), the authority overseeing the FFC system.

Examples of FFCs for cognitive health are those that claim to support attention, spatial cognition, and verbal memory. Other popular FFCs were related to blood pressure, blood glucose level, joint health, cholesterol, and immune function.

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