Japan is one of the most developed countries in the global functional food market. Its functional food innovation trend and functional ingredient market brings great enlightenment to related industries globally.
In the Japanese market, health food is mainly divided into specific health food, nutritional functional food and foods with function claims (FFCs). As the largest category of health food, FFCs can make it easier for consumers to choose products according to their needs; for enterprises, it can convey commodity functions to consumers in a more direct way, making sales easier.
There were a total of 2951 registered FFCs since the FFC scheme first started in April 2015 to March 2020. Among the registrations, GABA, indigestible (resistant) dextrin, and omega-3 are the most commonly used functional ingredients.
There are more than 270 registered items of GABA related products in FFCs, which are mainly used in blood pressure reduction, liver protection, sleep improvement, mood relief, anti fatigue and other categories. The product forms involve dietary supplements, beverages, dairy products, snacks, fresh food, etc.
Indigestible (resistant) dextrin
The number of registered items of indigestible (resistant) dextrin are similar to those of GABA. As indigestible (resistant) dextrin contains high fiber content. Because of its high fiber content, easy to add and can improve the bad taste, it has become one of the preferred ingredients for enterprises to develop fat reducing functional drinks. The main functions of resistant dextrin are "regulating intestinal tract", "inhibiting fat absorption" and "slowing down the rise of blood glucose".
Fibersol-2 is a kind of water-soluble dietary fiber from corn starch, which was introduced by Matsutake Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. in 1988. 50% of this fiber will not be digested and absorbed by human body, which is called "indigestible dextrin" or "resistant dextrin". Dietary fiber is known as the 7th largest nutrient in human body. It has a sense of satiety, low glycemic index and can help clean the intestines. At present, many drinks will add resistant dextrin and other dietary fiber.
The substance has been certified by the United States as early as 1990; in 1992, 1994 and 1998, it was certified by Japan's specific health food system on the functions of adjusting intestinal tract, delaying postprandial blood glucose rise and postprandial triglyceride rise; in 2012, it was approved as a common food by China's Ministry of health. In 2018, after two years of investigation, the US FDA included several fibers including resistant dextrin in the dietary nutrition label.
Coke Cola plus, launched in Japan in 2017, contains fibersol-2. The product does not contain any sugar and calories. In order to further attract shape control, in addition to zero calories, it can also inhibit fat absorption in the body after meals.
Image Source: Coca Cola
Sprite extra, adding 5g dextrin per bottle, can inhibit the absorption of fat in diet, and alleviate the rise of fat in blood after meal.
Meiji Functional Yoghurt added 5g resistant dextrin per 200g, the function is to inhibit fat absorption and slow down sugar absorption.