Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Research

Read more breaking news


Special Edition: Asia

Untapped ingredients from Japan may have potential worldwide

By Jess Halliday , 27-Sep-2010

Green tea, soy and CoQ10 are some of the best known ingredients for supplements and functional foods from Japan, but a wealth of lesser-known foodstuffs are also the subject of inquiry into their potential health benefits.

The Japanese supplement and functional food market is renowned as the most innovative in the world. But it is not only finished product developers who are a source of inspiration around the globe; emerging research into plants and plant extracts is also leading to new commercial opportunities for Japanese companies.

Next month the HI Japan trade show will open its doors at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre. Amongst the exhibitor presentations on home-grown ingredients, Sun Medica will be discussing amyloban, an active compound isolated from yamabushite (lion’s mane) mushrooms which has been studied for improvement mild cognitive impairment.

The mushroom has previously been the subject of research looking at its effects on respiratory issues, tumours, and lipid metabolism.

Nakano BC Co Ltd will also be presenting on the potential of the Japanese speciality ume, or dried Japanese apricots, traditionally associated with warding off bad luck and more recently investigated for inhibiting Helicobacter pylori-related chronic atrophic gastritis.

Biocon will be showcasing konjac products for carbohydrate restriction foods. Fibre from the plant, also known as devil’s tongue, has previously found use as a texturiser in foods and has also garnered interest as a prebiotic for gut health.

Recent research from Hokkaido Information University, Sapporo Bio-S, and Amino Up Chemical Company, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, looked at evidence that a low molecular extract from lychees called Oligonol may reduce abdominal fat in people with metabolic syndrome and improvements in overall health. Amino Up will be presenting on this ingredient at HI Japan.

NewBio Enterprise CO and Bizen Chemical CO will be presenting on the application of Bacillus Natto. Natto is fermented soybean dish commonly eaten in Japan – and gaining popularity for its purported immune boosting properties, as well as its high content of vitamin K.

Traditionally the steamed soybeans were wrapped in straw and fermentation occurred as a result of the naturally occurring bacteria, but producers nowadays buy in standardised bacteria specially for that purpose. The natto industry is centred in the town of Mitto to the north of Tokyo.

Japan also has a thriving algae industry, and at the Yaeyama Chlorella was one of only a handful of Japanese companies to make the trip to the Vitafoods trade show in Geneva this year. Chlorella is a single cell green microalgae is understood to have been around for about 2 billion years, and is rich chlorophyll, protein and minerals.

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars

Promotional Features

Content Provided by Fonterra

Way forward with whey protein