Collagen suitable for Muslims and Hindus launched for first time

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Collagen suitable for Muslims and Hindus launched for first time
A Malaysian company has released the world’s first food-grade sheep collagen on the market to tap into religiously observant markets for which beef or pork are not allowed.

The launch of the Ovinex brand comes four years after Holista Colltech, its manufacturer, signed an agreement with Malaysia’s government to create a halal product that would “put Malaysia on the global map of development of biotech products which are compliant with Islamic laws​.”

In November 2010 Holista Colltech, which has operations in Malaysia and Australia, set out to conduct advanced research on the world’s first halal food-grade sheep collagen. It collaborated with Universiti Sians Malaysia to research how plant-based enzymes can break down collagen further to make human digestion easier.

Functional modern and traditional foods

Collagen has been part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is widely used in China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The most common protein in the human body, it is used in modern medicine for anti-ageing, burns, bone health, and in a wide range of cosmetics.

Until the launch of Ovinex, collagen has mostly been extracted from cows or pigs, presenting problems for Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims who are unable to eat either beef- or pork-based products respectively. Alongside Holista’s disease-free collagen will address a significant market gap as it is culturally neutral to most potential users.

The the global collagen peptide market was valued at US$0.7bn in 2013 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.8% to reach US$1.1bn in 2020, according to research by Transparency.

Asian collagen market to see most growth

North America enjoyed the biggest market share in 2013, Transparency predicts Asia-Pacific will witness strong growth and emerge as the fastest growing market over the next five years. This will be driven by increasing industrialisation and better awareness of nutrition and personal wellbeing. 

Sheep as a source of collagen is unique and does not present the cultural and religious barriers seen with collagen from cows and pigs​,” said Holista Colltech chief executive, Dr Rajen Manicka.

Ovinex is halal-certified, “offering tremendous protection of our differentiation in terms of a strong patent and several related proprietary technologies,” Rajen said.

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