Nutrachampion podcast

PODCAST: Malaysia postbiotics firm My Myracle sets ambitious goal of reducing import reliance

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Malaysia postbiotic firm My Myracle sets ambitious goal of reducing reliance on imports

Related tags postbiotics Gut health microbiome Prebiotic Probiotic Malaysia My Myracle

A Malaysia homegrown postbiotics company has set the ambitious goal of reducing the country's reliance on imports of overseas “biotics” raw materials, managing director of the firm told NutraIngredients-Asia in the latest episode of our Nutrachampion podcast.

The company, My Myracle, specialises in postbiotics supplements for human health but is also branching into new areas such as skincare and pet health.

A new player in the postbiotic scene, the company first introduced its postbiotics supplements in year 2022.

Unlike most postbiotics which are made via the heat-killed method, the company produces postbiotics using non heat-killed technique developed by researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

More specifically, the researchers, through a 20-year-long endeavour, has developed a technology that segregates postbiotics from live bacteria​ without the need for heat-killed methods.

Managing director Chin Kok Tian, a seasoned businessman, was one of the owners and the chairman of Eramas Group which owns various businesses, including Erapoly Global Sdn Bhd which exports coconut, palm oil, fats, and dairy products. 

Chin Kok Tian, managing director of My Myracle.

Noticing a shift in consumer preference for healthier and clean-label products, Chin decided to branch out and by chance came to know about UPM’s postbiotics research.

“There is a shift to vegan, non-GMO products. Consumers want medium-chain triglycerides, they want clean-label, fewer e-numbers, preservative free.

“They want to consume not just food, but functional food and beverages…And then COVID-19 happened, and we decided to branch out. By chance I learned about the postbiotics developed by UPM’s reputable researchers, Prof Dr Foo Hooi Ling and Prof Dr Loh Teck Chwen, from the dean of the agriculture faculty,” ​he said.

The health business, in his opinion, is a sustainable one, but in the world of business, there are various other factors to consider.

And Chin is applying some of his core principles in managing Eramas to My Myracle as well.

To be exact, there are three core principles, with the fourth one added last year.

“Our company’s philosophy is ‘very funny’. First, it [the raw materials] must be locally sourced, or the supply chain should be local. Similarly, for our postbiotics and all our products sold through the Eramas Group, they must meet one of the three criteria – locally sourced.

“Second, it must be able to be exported globally. There shouldn’t be geographical boundaries.

“We do have not many SKUs. For example, our coconut milk and coconut sugar are locally sourced, by local I mean Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore – these three, we consider them locally-sourced and can be sold globally.

“Third, this thing is not made in China. These are our three criteria for the past 20 years ago,” ​he said.

Selling a product not manufactured in China gives the company an edge to the world’s second largest economy.

“We don’t want to compete with anything from China. China will be one of our customers as well,” ​he explained.

The fourth principle, identified last year, is to attempt to replace imports with locally sourced products.

So far, the company has identified a couple of products that Malaysia is almost entirely dependent on through imports. These include cheese and pre, probiotics.

“Since the currency is deteriorating, we have added another criterion last year. We want to see what are the imports that we bring into Malaysia but could be replaced [by local production].

“For example, we have identified a few products that the country imports 100 per cent from overseas into Malaysia and Singapore. We import 100 per cent of our cheese, and so, we could do analogue cheese or vegan cheese [to replace the imports].

“And for prebiotics and probiotics, I think majority of these are all imported from overseas too, so we hope we can replace some of the imports as well. This is our strategy.”

What is “unknown” is not really unknown

While the biotics business is new for Chin who studied agriculture business, he believes that any risks taken, or steps made into the unknown, should be carried out with courage and preparation.

“Gut feeling is super important. It is the first thing, the first step that you need to give you the courage to go into it [running a business].

“[When stepping into the unknown], it must be data-proven, you must do some research. This is a must, don’t just step into something without doing some research.

“Although it could be an area unknown to you, a lot of information is already available, a lot of expertise is already available, and so although it is unknown to you, you have to be prepared.”

Going into the human health industry, Chin says, is a break from solely making money which he has been doing for the past decades.

Through this, he hopes to benefit human health and also support industry talents.

“This is what I always wanted to do and hopefully, contribute to the wellbeing of the general public, because I feel that for the last 20, 30 years, it’s only about money-making, expanding and selling all over the world.

“At this time, I am thinking that I want to do something that I want to do and is something that I love to do and can contribute to the general public, where I can also nurture some talent in this industry, and so I have chosen the nutraceutical industry or the supplement industry.”

Making postbiotics a familiar item in everyday life

Since speaking with NutraIngredients-Asia ​about a year ago, My Myracle has been ramping up consumer education around postbiotics as there is still a lack of understanding and misconceptions on what it could do.

To help consumers get more acquainted with postbiotics, the company is also working with food and beverage companies to fortify their products with postbiotics.

It has also developed postbiotics pet food, anti-microbial spray, and is in the midst of developing postbiotics for cosmetic and skincare – such as products for eczema and scalp care.

“We want to let consumers know that postbiotics can appear (be used) in many situations.

“We will also develop some snacks, like Konjac jelly, because we want to have more people enjoy not only eating healthily, but also eating wholesomely with postbiotics,” ​Chin said.

Research wise, he said there were studies being conducted on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and H. pylori.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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