China approves allergy-battling probiotics

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Allergy

Stock market-listed Taiwanese probiotics specialist, GenMont, has won “health food designation” from the Chinese Department of Health for two of its probiotics for use in food and beverage products.

According to GenMont, the approvals for its strains GM-080 and GMNL-33, mean it can make anti-allergy claims as well as oral health claims for products it hopes to launch on the Chinese market this year.

These would most likely be in the form of probiotic yoghurt drinks or infant formula milk powders. The company is in negotiations with major Chinese dairies but said negotiations had been stalled to a degree by the melamine infant formula crisis that erupted on the Sino peninsula last year.

Talks are underway with non-Asian players also.

The strains are already on-market in Taiwan in the form of separate food supplements and in a one-shot yoghurt drink manufactured by Asian food manufacturing giant, Uni-President.

The supplements come in bottles of 120 capsules, of which one is recommended for consumption with each meal, and sell for about €75 in pharmacies, health food stores, supermarkets, the internet and via telemarketing.

Chinese approval

But in China, under its Management Method for Food for New Resources, the strains have only been approved for foods, not supplements.

“The Chinese have now approved 15 probiotic strains,”​ GenMont spokesperson David Silver told this morning. “But these are the only ones relating to anti-allergy and bad breath benefits.”

The company said phase-2, clinical trials backed the benefits of the allergy strain – GM-080, although was unable to determine whether these studies had been peer-reviewed at the time of publication. Twelve papers involving its products had been published, the company said.

A research and development agreement had been inked with the National University of Singapore as well as Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to develop anti-allergy applications.

GenMont president Chen Ken-te added: "With this approval, GenMont has confidence and is also excited to provide health benefits to the large China market. Moreover, we expect more of our probiotic products to gain approval by Chinese regulatory authorities in the future."


The company said GM-080 could reduce allergic symptoms by 40-50 per cent after a month of consumption and the risk of allergy recurrences after six.

Those who suffered from the likes of asthma, allergic rhinitis, ectopic dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, urticaria and food allergies were the target market as well as well as seasonal allergy patients and expectant mothers.

Its other probiotics include products marketed on anti-arthritis, and cholesterol lowering potential.

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