Cargill's Regenasure brand glucosamine is the first commercially available glucosamine derived from corn. Most others are made using shellfish waste or other animal products.
However shellfish can cause an allergic reaction in some people and animal byproducts are increasingly of concern to consumers wanting to avoid the spread of animal diseases.
Glucosamine supplements have been shown to slow down the progression of knee osteoarthritis and reduce pain in people with cartilage damage.
Japan's approval of the glucosamine allows it to enter a major market, with strong awareness of dietary supplements and an ageing population.
The Regenasure glucosamine will be sold in the hydrochloride form, which Cargill claims has at least 83 per cent active glucosamine as compared to the sulfate form, which has 50.7 per cent active glucosamine.