Japan focus: Credibility concerns surrounding FFCs, findings from Kewpie, Ajinomoto studies

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images
©Getty Images

Related tags Japan

This round-up features credibility concerns over Japan’s Food With Function Claims, a Kewpie-funded study involving egg yolk choline supplementation, Ajinomoto lauding new findings that highlighted the potential of umami ingredients to reduce consumer salt intake, and more.

‘More of a marketing stunt’: Japanese expert questions credibility of FFC system and urges revisions to ‘old and complex’ regulations

Japan’s Food With Function Claims (FFC) system has boosted the nutra market, but it can risk letting down consumers, said Dr Seiji Aoyagi, who was speaking at the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference 2023 held in conjunction with Hi & Fi Asia-China.

“The FFC system introduced in 2015 opened up the market, but it is confusing and sometimes not right. It seems more of a marketing stunt to boost the industry. More than 5,000 products have been notified within eight years — it is not possible for all products to do what they claim, but the public is not aware and not getting the benefits [on the labels],” ​Dr Aoyagi told NutraIngredients-Asia​ after his presentation.

Credibility doubts arise: Japan set to revise Foods with Function Claims scientific evaluation

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA), which regulates the FFC market, is reviewing the methods that companies use to support the science behind their goods.

This development comes after the recent discovery of two FFCs that made claims not well supported by research reviews submitted to the CAA. The products have since been removed from shelves.

Systematic review, the most common method that companies use to support the functional claims and science of FFC products, will be required to comply with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2020 (PRISMA 2020​).

Cracking results? Egg yolk choline shown to improve verbal memory – Kewpie-funded trial

The supplementation of egg yolk choline has been shown to improve verbal memory in a 12-week trial funded by Japan food firm Kewpie Corporation.

Egg yolk is a rich source of different choline-containing chemical forms, such as phosphatidylcholine (PC), lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), and α-glycerophosphocholine (α-GPC).

Writing in Lipids in Health and Disease, ​the trial was conducted by researchers from Kewpie, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Kyushu University and Prefectural University of Kumamoto, and Nihonbashi Cardiology Clinic.

Suntory to share exclusive personalised nutrition insights at Growth Asia Summit 2023

Suntory’s Senior General Manager of Future Business Development will deliver a keynote talk at Growth Asia Summit 2023 addressing the opportunities for personalised nutrition.

Under the theme of Trends and Innovation Opportunities Across the Life Stages, ​the summit​ will ​explore the latest market opportunities across the region that are driving growth of the food, beverage and nutrition industries in Asia.

Upgrading umami understanding: Ajinomoto lauds new Japanese study on amino acid potential to reduce consumer salt intake

Amino acid specialist firm Ajinomoto has lauded the findings of a new Japanese study that highlighted the potential of umami ingredients, such as various glutamate-based substances, to reduce consumer salt intake and improve public health.

Sodium reduction has been of particular concern in Japan due to the nature of many local staple foods being highly dependent on salt for flavouring, including soy sauce, miso, and processed meats.

The study findings suggested that approximately 60% of Japanese adults would be able to achieve the national dietary goal of 8g/day salt intake via the sodium replacement strategy.

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