Japan Focus: LC-Plasma approved in India, Japanese whiskey revival, FFC export opportunities, Nissin’s plant-based eel and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

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©Getty Images

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Plant-based developments by Tastable and Nissin, Kyowa Hakko Bio’s proprietary postbiotic’s approval in India, factors driving growth of Japanese whiskey, and how Japan health foods associations are supporting export opportunities for FFCs feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

Playing to strengths: Japan’s Tastable hopes texture expertise will help grow Nikuvege plant-based brand

Japanese plant-based meat firm Tastable is a branch-off of one of Japan’s largest hydrocolloid specialist firms Unitec Foods, which is in turn under the umbrella of the Fuji Nihon Seito multinational corporation.

This has provided Tastable with existing expertise and manoeuvrability around the use of hydrocolloids to develop desired product textures, which the firm hopes will help it successfully commercialise and grow its new Nikuvege brand.

Postbiotic approval: Kirin subsidiary’s ingredient approved for use in foods, supplements in India

Kyowa Hakko Bio, a subsidiary firm of Kirin, says its postbiotics is now approved for use in general foods and health supplements in India.

The company received approval from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in August that IMMUSE, its proprietary Lactococcus lactis ​strain Plasma (LC-Plasma) postbiotic, could be used in general foods and health supplements. 

The postbiotic was approved under Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specified Food and Food Ingredients) Regulations, 2017. 

Rapid rise: Rare packaging and government support driving ongoing Japanese whiskey growth

Exclusive and limited-edition packaging designs coupled with ongoing government support have been cited as two key factors behind the rapid and relentless growth of the Japanese whiskey sector.

Japanese whiskey had been overshadowed for many years by its more well-known counterparts such as Scotland and Ireland, but there has been a concerted effort in the country to revive and grow the category.

‘Revive with exports’: Japanese associations gearing up for functional foods export opportunities

Several Japan health foods associations are gearing up for export opportunities for Foods with Function Claims (FFC), such as providing export consultation services and establishing networks with regional dietary supplement associations.

For example, Japan Health and Nutrition Food Association (JHNFA) has officially launched a consultation service for member companies that are experiencing export difficulties. It will help investigate the issues and offer advice on areas that could be improved.

Launched in 2015, the FFC sector is a major component​ of Japan’s health and nutrition industry today.

This for eel: Nissin pledges continued alternative protein NPD on the back of first product launch

Nissin has committed to further product development plans for instant noodles using alternative proteins, after a first launch featuring plant-based ‘eel’ was well received in Japan.

The Japanese cup noodles specialist launched its first plant-based product, “kabayaki” grilled eel, in Japan in conjunction with the country’s Day of Ox commemoration a few months ago.

A limited run of 1,000 sets were sold via Nissin’s online store. While there are currently no imminent plans to export the product or increase production, Nissin intends to “continue developing and researching plant-based foods and alternative proteins”, Norie Oguchi, Corporate Communications at Nissin, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

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