The Taiwan-based company develops its raw ingredients and finished products in the home market.
In mainland China, however, it is solely providing OEM/ODM services, where it formulates health foods in formats such as liquid sachet, liquid glass bottles, powder sachet, tablet, coffee capsule, and more recently, into jellies and gummies.
Given that the older population is on the rise, the company is seeing opportunities for products that promote healthy ageing.
Specifically, products for muscle strength and kidney health are of interest to the company, Dr Gill Lin, manager at the R&D department of Grape King Bio (Shanghai) told NutraIngredients-Asia at the Healthplex Expo / Natural & Nutraceutical Products China held in Shanghai between June 19 - 21.
“Since the older population is on the rise, the healthy ageing nutrition sector is expected to expand. With age comes the loss of muscle and a decline in muscle strength.
“Of course, we hope to slow down the process through exercise and the use of functional foods, but we cannot deny that bodily functions will decline, which is why we are paying attention to this sector at the moment.”
In this case, the firm has developed Bifidobacterium lactis GKK2, which has been shown to delay ageing and prevent age-related muscle loss in a mice study.
At the same time, it is seeing growth potential for its probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GKLC1 which has shown benefits for alleviating kidney damage induced by pharmaceutical drugs.
Dr Lin said that this was especially relevant for the older population who was on various Western medicines to cope with different illnesses.
“In the case of Taiwan, there is a greater use of Western medications which might cause side effects to the kidney or even lead to kidney damage.
“Probiotics that cater to kidney health are less common in the market and because we believe that in the days to come, the growing ageing population meant that the number of diseased or sick population taking medications will increase.
“You can't possibly take medications to curb [the side effects] of medications, and so, we see an opportunity for using health supplements for kidney maintenance,” she said.
The firm has acquired a patent in Taiwan for the manufacturing of the strain in November 2021.
A study published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy last March showed that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GKLC1 had suppressed nephrotoxicity or renal toxicity induced by the intake of chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin in an animal study.
On the other hand, the company is seeing a demand for products that reduce body fat and blood lipids from female consumers.
So far, the firm has developed products containing its proprietary probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum GKM3. The strain has been showed to reverse the increase in body fat induced by a high-fat diet in a mice study.
“We are mainly focusing on the female consumers and for them, there is a greater demand for products that address body fat and blood lipids, which we take into consideration when making new products,” said Dr Lin.