The Japan-headquartered company announced that its postbiotic ingredient Lactobacillus plantarum HK L-137, trademarked Immuno-LP20, is classified as a non-novel food by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
“No tradition of use of Lactobacillus plantarum L-137 (heat-killed/heat inactivated) as a food ingredient in Australia and New Zealand.
“However, no safety concerns identified with intended use of Lactobacillus plantarum L-137 (heat-killed/heat inactivated) at up to 1.2bn cells per day in a range of foods and beverages,” the FSANZ said in December last year.
With the regulatory recognition, House Wellness Foods is partnering contract manufacturer Probiotics Australia to reach out to various foods and beverages brands in the region.
House Wellness Foods added that Probiotics Australia has been in discussion with some companies for projects and hoped to launch new products soon.
Postbiotics refer to the preparations of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confer a health benefit on the host.
Being heat-killed, the L-137 strain is said to be acid, temperature-stable and boasts a shelf life of five years at room temperature. As such, it can be incorporated into baked and processed foods.
So far, it has been shown to confer immune, upper respiratory tract, oral, and liver health benefits.
For instance, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that adults who took a capsule containing 10mg of the ingredient for 12 weeks had seen improvements in their acquired immunity.
Another study published in European Journal of Nutrition found that the consumption of the postbiotic at 10mg for 12 weeks had improved inflammation and lipid metabolism in adults with body mass index between 23 and 29.9.
The FSANZ also approved another postbiotic – Lactobacillus gasseri CP2305 – as a non-novel food last year by Japanese firm Asahi Group.
The US, Japan, Taiwan/China are the key markets that are selling products containing the L-137 strain, according to Kotaro Soga, general manager at House Wellness Corporation.
For example, the US brand Nouri has developed ready-to-drink beverages under the name ‘Inner Immune’ and the strain is marketed as an immunobiotics in the product.
Another US firm, Life Extension, has added the strain into an oral hygiene supplement known as ‘Florassist’. The probiotic lozenges also contain the probiotics Blis M18 (S. salivarius M18).
In Taiwan, the company Hey Song has launched an isotonic drink containing the ingredient.
Elsewhere in Japan, the ingredient is used in baked goods, such as Fuji Baking Group’s mini snack stick bread, glutinous rice cake by Sato Foods, and even curry sauce – a product by House Wellness Foods itself. These products do not make any health claims but highlighted that they contain L-137.