China focus: Instant formula sector, health food approvals, mass fortification, research findings and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

China focus: Instant formula sector, health food approvals, mass fortification, research findings

Related tags China

This round-up looks at a2 Milk Company’s growth amid a shrinking instant formula sector, health food approval updates, mass fortification of staple foods, and latest research findings.
Prebiotic supplementation could benefit gut microbiota of pregnant women – China RCT

Prebiotics could improve the composition of gut microbiota in pregnant women, but did not show robust effects on glucose and lipid metabolism, a new RCT has reported.

During pregnancy, disruptions to the gut microbiota and abnormal glucose metabolism can lead to complications such as gestational diabetes.

Prebiotic supplementation during pregnancy can be considered to be safe and well-tolerated, as seen from the minimal adverse reactions experienced by the study participants.

Researchers also suggested that the effects may be more significant if the duration of the intervention was increased, such as starting the supplementation before pregnancy or even earlier.

Shrink survivors: a2 milk snaps up greater market share in China’s infant formula sector

The a2 Milk Company has managed to snap up a greater market share in China, despite the country’s shrinking infant formula sector, the firm said in its latest financial report.

The growth mainly came from the sales of its China label infant formulas across the domestic online channels, such as Tmall, JD and Douyin (China version of TikTok), as well as mother and baby stores. 

Last year, the company launched a number of new products, such as the a2 platinum refreshed range available in Australia, New Zealand and China, as well as the a2 Nutrition for Mothers China label.

Salt’s metabolic benefits? Role in increasing energy expenditure worthy of further study

A study by researchers from Australia and China found that salt could have a positive metabolic effect by promoting a negative energy balance to combat obesity, but extensive further research is needed given the negative consequences of high intake on cardiovascular health.

Salt intake has been found to regulate energy expenditure by stimulating non-shivering thermogenesis, a mechanism by which heat is produced by the body to adapt to the cold.

This could open the door for therapeutic applications, provided that they would not lead to dire health outcomes.

Immune support, alleviating physical fatigue dominated China’s health foods registration approvals last year

Immune support and alleviating physical fatigue were some of the most common claims made by health foods approved by the China regulators via the registration route last year.

Out of the 421 new health foods approved via the registration route, over half of them (52 per cent) made the single claim of enhancing the immune system.

Capsule, soft capsule, and tablet were the three most common dosage formats that recrived approval.

Fortified future? China set for mass fortification of staple foods to combat deficiencies – consultation open

The China National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) has outlined a detailed proposal to mandate the nutritional fortification of a wide variety of staple foods, including food groups such as dairy, rice, wheat flour and vegetable oil, in order to boost public health and combat nutrient deficiencies.

Under these regulations, mass fortification will be enforced according to the type of nutrients and food group involved. For instance, it would be compulsory to fortify pasteurised dairy or fermented dairy products with vitamins A and D, rice and wheat with vitamins B1 and B2 and folic acid.

Food firms will also be able to fortify these products with other types of nutrients on a voluntary basis.


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