Japan focus: Natto’s skin benefits, probiotic for cognitive support, personalised nutrition, Blackmores’ ambitions and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images
©Getty Images

Related tags Japan

This round-up features the application potential of a natto-derived ingredient, a probiotic strain for cognitive support across age groups, launch of AgTechNavigator.com, challenges of personalised nutrition, and Blackmores’ expansion and product development plans.

Natto-derived functional ingredient shows multiple skin care benefits and stability for cosmetic applications – study

Daiwa Pharmaceutical Co Ltd developed a functional food ingredient called bacillus natto productive protein (BNPP), which contains Bacillopeptidase F.​, and reportedly improves blood flow and skin condition.

To investigate its effect on the skin, Japanese researchers performed in vitro tests and a small-scale, single-armed trial funded by the firm.

“Our findings showed that the oral administration of BNPP may significantly enhance skin rosiness, and also achieve notable improvement in skin conditions. It is reasonable to suggest that BNPP has the effects of preventing brown spot formation, lightening the skin, and improving fine lines and wrinkles,”​ the authors wrote.

Not just for the elderly: Cognitive support probiotic strain sold as food for general population in Japan – WATCH

While supplements for cognitive support are commonly designed for middle-aged and older adults, Japan is seeing companies selling such products in the form of functional foods for the general population.

Morinaga Milk Industry is one such example. The company has so far introduced different types of health supplements and functional foods containing its proprietary probiotic strain Bifidobacterium breve​ MCC 1274 that has been shown to provide cognitive support.

In the NutraIngredients-Asia Awards 2023​ held in September, Bifidobacterium breve​ MCC 1274 took home the Ingredient of the Year (cognitive function) award for its scientific evidence and dosage format versatility.

AgTechNavigator.com launched to provide independent and authoritative news, insights and analysis

William Reed has launched AgTechNavigator.com​ to provide independent and authoritative news, insights and analysis of the global agtech space, covering business-critical content on innovation, investment and regulation.

The launch follows William Reed’s acquisition of Rethink Events​, organiser of the renowned World Agri-Tech and Future Food-Tech Innovation series.  

AgTechNavigator.com will publish content daily, and send newsletters twice a week from November 7, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To register for the free newsletters, click here​.

Is personalised nutrition truly the future? Suntory on the challenging journey to ‘full personalisation’

Suntory has highlighted consumer confusion and production time as some of the key challenges standing in the way of achieving “full personalisation” in the nutrition and food manufacturing sector.

The firm has been rapidly growing its health foods business, as well as made multiple investments into the personalised nutrition and supplementation space. One of these is in Rem3dy, which makes personalised 3D-printed gummy supplements.

According to Mikio Aoki, Senior General Manager of Suntory’s Future Business Development Department, other concerns included how to thoroughly understand and solve individual health issues such as allergies, and logistical challenges.

Promotion and formulation: Blackmores eyes China and Indonesia boost, plus NPD with Kirin’s flagship ingredients

Blackmores is set to ramp up advertising to boost brand awareness in China and Indonesia, while also formulating new products with Kirin’s ingredients following the Japanese giant’s acquisition of the firm.

This comes as Blackmores revealed net profit increased by 37% in FY23, but headwinds in the international markets and soaring raw material costs have pulled down its gross margin. 

Blackmores’ CEO Alastair Symington announced the results during parent company Kirin’s Health Science Day held in end September.


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