China focus: GNC’s high purity fish oil, Junlebao’s DHA variant, HMOs approvals, functional popping candy, and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

China focus: GNC’s high purity fish oil, Junlebao’s DHA variant, HMOs approvals, functional popping candy, and more

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This round-up looks at GNC China’s aspirations for high purity fish oil omega-3 products, Junlebao’s attention on a specific DHA variant, the first HMOs approved for use in China’s infant formula, a vitamin C and probiotics-enriched popping candy, and cultivated meat firm Jimi Biotech’s diversification.

Aiming high: GNC China sees huge growth potential in demand for high purity fish oil as consumer education matures

GNC China says there is huge growth potential in the demand for high purity fish oil omega-3 products as consumers become more aware of its benefits, especially in regulating blood lipids level and supporting cardiovascular health.

GNC 97% high purity fish oil, developed specifically for China by the local R&D team, took home the Product of the Year (Omega-3) in this year’s NutraIngredients-Asia Awards. 

Watch the video to find out more.

‘Not all DHA is equal’: Concentration of specific sn-2 variant could play key role in infant formula efficacy – Junlebao

China dairy giant Junlebao believes that the concentration of a specific variant of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) molecules – the sn-2 DHA – plays a crucial role in the absorption and efficacy of infant formulas, and has called for industry collaboration to increase understanding around its potential.

The role of DHA in an infant’s developmental process is well documented to cover areas from brain development to retinal development and allergy reduction. As such, it has become a widely demanded component in many infant formula products across many brands.

According to industry leader Junlebao, it may not just be the amount of DHA that is important, but also the presence of a specific variant of this molecule.

China HMOs approvals: Two MNCs and one local giant get the green light from regulators

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are now officially permitted for use in China’s infant formula, with two multinationals, namely IFF and dsm-firmenich, and local dairy giant Mengniu announcing that they have received approvals.

All three companies received approvals for their 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) ingredient, while dsm-firmenich received an additional approval for lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT).

This first wave of approvals is seen as a milestone, and subsequent approvals are expected to be completed quicker now that the authorities have established a harmonised set of standards for HMOs use in infant formulas.

Top of the pops: Guangdong firm makes vitamin C, probiotics in popping candy

Guangdong Baida Biotechnology Co Ltd has been manufacturing popping candy as general foods for over 25 years, exporting its products to around 100 countries.  

About two years ago, the company studied how nutraceutical ingredients, namely vitamin C and Bifidobacterium​, could be incorporated into its popping candy. One advantage of doing so is that it offers a new sensory experience for consumers. 

As vitamin C and Bifidobacterium​ degrade when exposed to oxygen, moisture and heat, the carbon dioxide used to create the popping effect could help slow down the degradation process.

The firm will be launching its first functional popping candy in October via Douyin, The Little Red Book and Tmall, before entering the offline sector.  

Chinese cultivated meat firm shifts focus to deer antler, sets foot into nutraceuticals and cosmetics

Jimi Biotech has successfully cultivated deer antler stem cells, which it looks to develop into its first commercialised product, while applications in dietary supplements and cosmetics are on the drawing board.

The long road to gaining regulatory approval​ has led the company to explore new options, despite managing to reduce the cost of serum-free media for cultivated meat.

“Deer antler is a premium product that has a big market in China and other Asian countries. We now have the ability to make this valuable and popular product at a lower cost. We believe it will provide a better path for commercialisation as our very first product, and can generate steady and substantial revenue more quickly,” ​Yikai Wang, Operations Director of Jimi Biotech, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

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