Japan news

Regulatory News

Soy Isoflavone Limits
Since 2004, the Food Safety Commission, part of the Cabinet Office, has evaluated the safety of soy isoflavone when it is consumed as a FOSHU in addition to regular diets. Although no safety issues have been raised over the intake of soy foods, which are high in soy isoflavone, in the Japanese diet, there have been concerns over the added intake over a long period of time of concentrated and enriched soy isoflavone (glycoside or aglycome). In January, the commission announced that daily dosage of soy isoflavone should be limited to 75mg as aglycone, and 30mg per day as aglycone if consumed as a FOSHU in addition to regular diets.

New Products

FOSHU Tea Drink
After finding that sesame peptide, a leucine-valine-tyrosine-bound amino acid derived from sesame lowers blood pressure levels, Suntory has begun marketing by mail order its canned drink, Sesame Peptide Tea, as a FOSHU product to lower blood pressure.

Dairy Vegetable Juice
By integrating Kikkoman's fermentation technology and DelMonte's research and development capabilities, as well as the latter's buying power for fruits and vegetables, Kikkoman has developed two new products for their DelMonte LacVege with Plant-derived Lactic Acid Bacteria & Fermented Vegetable line. The products, launched in February, are Yellow Vegetables, containing vegetables and fruits, and Concentrates, containing green and yellow vegetables.

Coffee with Double Polyphenols
In seeking to add functionality to its existing coffee brand, Salon de Café, Ito-En has added the W brand in February, including W Black, W Coffee with Milk, and W, a diet coffee. The W emphasizes functionality and taste. The brand targets middle-age men who are heavy users of canned coffee drinks. The drinks contain 50mg of chlorogenic acid (coffee polyphenol) per canned bottle, about twice as much as regular coffee products, while maintaining good taste.

Purple Vegetable Juice
Kagome has added Yasai Seikatsu 100 Murasaki no Yasai (Vegetable Life 100 Purple Vegetables) to its existing product lines, Vegetable Life Original (yellow), Kirei ni Aka (Beautifully Red), and Midori Ou (Green King). The purple color is based on anthocyanins contained in purple potato, purple carrot, purple cabbage and blueberry. The company launched the product in 930g PET bottles in February, and 200ml paper packs in March.

Tea Drinks for Beauty
Taisho Pharmaceutical launched an English tea drink, Canton Beauty, with Cantonese ginseng, vitamin C and beta-carotene in February, and a green tea drink, Livita Q10 Green Tea, containing CoQ10 and vitamin B6 in March. The company's health-supporting brand, Livita, has focused on prevention of lifestyle-related diseases but will expand its product line to beauty as well.

'Mayonnaise' Without Oil or Egg
Riken Vitamin's new mayonnaise-like product, Riken Non Oil, uses no oil or eggs, is fat and cholesterol free, low in calories. Made from rice starch, it maintains a taste and texture similar to mayonnaise, and adds to the Non Oil brand, which includes Non Oil Dressing. The company is expecting first-year revenues of 2.5 billion yen, targeting consumers with egg allergies, those seeking to reduce calorie intake, and those concerned with lifestyle-related diseases.

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