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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
Kaneka also now has exclusive licensing rights to produce and sell AB-Biotics’ products in North America and Japan.
Kaneka Corp. (Tokyo), long known for its Kaneka QH CoQ10 branded ingredient, is now expanding into the probiotics field, acquiring a 34.8% share of AB-Biotics SA, the Barcelona-based biotech firm specializing in probiotics/lactic acid bacteria. Kaneka also now has exclusive licensing rights to produce and sell AB-Biotics’ products in North America and Japan.
Kaneka says it will also seek synergies between the two companies’ technologies and products and hopes to drive 10 billion yen in sales in 2022 by launching new products.
According to Kaneka, the AB-Biotics portfolio includes “more than 550 original probiotic strains extracted from human-origin samples.” AB-Biotics’ probiotic ingredients address conditions such as heart, oral, and immune health, and are supplied to both health food and pharmaceutical companies. Kaneka, meanwhile, offers not only Kaneka QH CoQ10 but also its Kaneka Glavonoid (a polyphenol derived from licorice), and plant-derived Bacillus lactic acid.
The lactic acid market is gaining consumer interest and is rife with potential, Kaneka said in a press release. “Lactic acid bacteria have been drawing people's attention for their effect and efficacy not only to intestinal function and immune system, but also to allergic symptoms and infectious diseases. The interest and business of dairy products such as yogurt, functional foods, and dietary supplements containing lactic acid bacteria is also rapidly increasing. The market size of health foods using lactic acid bacteria has exceeded $2 billion in North America. In Japan, a lot of new products such as yogurt, drinks, and dietary supplements containing lactic acid bacteria have been launched in the market, with the expectation of higher demand than ever.”
Kazuhiko Fujii, president, Kaneka Americas Holding, said in a press release, “Kaneka will apply our expertise in fermentation and sales of specialty nutrients to the newly formed Probiotic Division to provide unique, innovative solutions in the probiotics market. We look forward to collaborating with customers to help them create products that will differentiate their probiotics with our clinical strains.”