Solubility solution: Shinryo to repackage and relaunch hydrogen-rich jelly sleep supplement in Japan as FFC

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Shinryo Healthcare's hydrogen-rich jelly supplement claims to improve sleep quality. ©Shinryo Healthcare
Shinryo Healthcare's hydrogen-rich jelly supplement claims to improve sleep quality. ©Shinryo Healthcare

Related tags FFC Japan Functional foods Hydrogen

Japanese firm Shinryo Healthcare has overcome application challenges posed by hydrogen molecules to develop a jelly supplement that claims to improve sleep quality.

The company, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Group, has announced that its “high-concentration hydrogen jelly” will go through a packaging revamp before a relaunch in June.

The hydrogen jelly has been accepted by the Consumer Affairs Agency in Japan as a Food with Function Claims (FFC). This is the first time in the country that a product containing hydrogen molecules as a functional ingredient has successfully registered as an FFC.

Despite the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of molecular hydrogen, solubility issues remain an actively pursued research topic around the world.

Due to its low density both as a gas and a liquid, hydrogen needs to be compressed in order to be stored. Hydrogen cylinders or generators are required for transport, making portability a challenge.

In response to these issues, Shinryo carried out research and has established a technology for stable production of high-concentration hydrogen material.

“Instead of dissolving hydrogen molecules in the base material, our product disperses and retains fine bubbles of hydrogen molecules in polymers such as gelatin.

“Compared to the hydrogen concentration of conventional commercially available hydrogen water (about 0.4ppm to 0.8ppm), our hydrogen jelly has a hydrogen concentration of 30ppm to 40ppm,” ​the firm said.

Each 10g jelly stick contains 0.3mg of molecular hydrogen (hydrogen concentration of 40 ppm).

“If the hydrogen concentration of commercially available hydrogen water is 0.4ppm, it means that you have to consume one litre of it to obtain the same amount of hydrogen molecules in our jelly stick. As the jelly sticks are packed in aluminium pouches, the structure makes it difficult for hydrogen to escape. The product can be stored at room temperature for about 18 months.”

Characterised by its hydrogen-bubble texture, the jelly stick is also made of ingredients such as collagen, elastin, astaxanthin, and rosehip.

“The high-concentration hydrogen base material can be easily formulated with other materials such as amino acids. Our technology can also be applied to other food and cosmetic products in future,” ​the firm added.

Tried and tested

As part of its FFC application, Shinryo performed a clinical trial to determine the effect of its jelly supplement on the sleep quality of healthy female adults.

Twenty-nine women who felt stressed but generally healthy were randomly assigned to either a hydrogen jelly group or a placebo group.

The hydrogen jelly group consumed three jelly sticks each day (0.9 mg/day of hydrogen molecules) for four weeks, whereas the placebo group took jelly containing air.

Based on results from an obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) questionnaire, a marked improvement in sleep length was observed in the hydrogen jelly group, compared to the placebo group.

There was also a significant interaction in skin hydration levels between the two groups.

“Our findings suggested that daily intake of the hydrogen jelly supplement can prevent sleep disturbances and enhance sleep quality by reducing oxidative stress,”​ the researchers said.

At the same time, Shinryo is conducting joint research on its high-concentration hydrogen base material with various universities, including the University of Tokyo, National Defense Medical College, Okayama University, Kanagawa University of Health Services, and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.

The current version of the hydrogen jelly is available at Shinryo Healthcare’s official website, and Japanese e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Rakuten and Yahoo! Shopping.

The firm will also be holding pop-up events at department stores across Japan for a limited time.

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