Latest data from China’s State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) showed that last year, 392 health foods filings were received for products containing Lingzhi cracked spores powder as a single raw material, more than that of coenzyme Q10 and fish oil.
Health foods sold in China have to receive prior approval from the SAMR, either through the filing or registration route.
Those containing raw materials listed in the Health Foods Raw Materials Directory could go through the filing system, which is less time-consuming and less costly than the alternative option.
Typically, health foods registration could take about two to three years to be completed, while the filing track allows companies to introduce its products into the market in as soon as eight to 10 months.
Lingzhi cracked spores powder, together with coenzyme Q10, fish oil, spirulina, and melatonin, were five raw materials most recently added to the Health Foods Raw Materials Directory in March 2021.
The addition of these five raw materials into the Directory was intended to expand the types of health foods sold within China, according to the SAMR.
Out of the five, Lingzhi cracked spores powder was the most popular among health foods manufacturers, with 392 filings made last year, up from 191 filings in year 2021.
Coenzyme Q10 was the second in place with 309 filings made, up from 240 filings in year 2021.
Melatonin was the third most popular, with the number of filings increasing from 169 to 244 last year.
Fish oil followed next with 190 filings made, up from 165, while the number of filings was lowest for spirulina at 48, although it had tripled from the 15 filings received in 2021.
“According to the latest data, ever since the five raw materials have been officially added to the Health Foods Raw Material Directory, health foods operating entities have in total, made 564 filings for Lingzhi cracked spores powder, 487 filings for coenzyme Q10, 373 filings for melatonin, 304 filings for fish oil, and 52 filings for spirulina.
“The types of health foods products have increased, and the market has become more competitive,” said SAMR.
From October 1 this year, soy protein isolate and whey protein would also be officially added to the Directory.
Filing fast catching up
Although the health foods filing system was only introduced in year 2017, more products are entering the market via this route as compared to the registration system that was put in place about 30 years ago.
The SAMR said that since 2017, over 14,000 health foods filings have been received, surpassing the 11,000-odd health foods registrations that the SAMR had received in almost 30 years.
“Health foods market entry is enabled by the dual registration and filing tracks, which has in turn brought about a new phenomenon,” said the regulator.