Ajinomoto on sodium reduction, Kirin on net alcohol labelling, Integriculture on cultured meat innovation and more

Taking back control: food companies have a responsibility to meet taste expectations for low-sodium foods – Ajinomoto​

Consumers are ready to switch to low-sodium foods to reap the health benefits, but with a caveat that they must taste good, according to new data from MSG giant Ajinomoto .

Ajinomoto’s Sodium Alternatives and Long-Term Solutions (SALTS) study found that consumers may understand that overconsumption of sodium will lead to health problems, but they also believe it is the responsibility of food companies to find the solutions to solve the overconsumption problem, and are unwilling or unable to do so independently.

“People know that too much sodium is bad for your health at any age, but they don’t see it as a concern that affects them personally. [and] the numbers show it.”said the study researchers.

Japan’s Net Alcohol Labeling: Voluntary Regime Will Be Relaxed to Avoid Environmental Impacts and Costs – Kirin​

According to beer giant Kirin, Japanese companies will gradually introduce a new voluntary net alcohol labeling system to avoid costs and environmental impacts.

The Japanese government approved the Net Alcohol Labeling System as part of the National Basic Plan for Promoting Measures to Cope with Alcohol-Related Health Disorders (Phase 2) in March 2021, which calls for labels of alcoholic beverages to replace ABV alcohol percentages (%) with net alcohol content (g).

So far, this program is voluntary for the industry, but many companies have already expressed their willingness to participate and implement it according to government recommendations, as is commonly seen in Japan when a directive suggested or a national plan is announced.

“Cabinet approval of this plan has really expedited Kirin’s review of this program, and while net alcohol labeling is only a corporate requirement [and not a policy regulation] at this point, Kirin thinks it is part of our social responsibility,” Kirin Holdings Director of Corporate Communications Naoto Kobuna said FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Democratizing cultured meat: Japanese integriculture pushes co-culture technology to cut costs

Japanese cultured meat company Integriculture has touted its co-culture technology as one of the fastest ways to reduce the cost of cellular farming and enable more players in the F&B industry to make part of the cultured meat sector.

One of the biggest barriers to cost reduction and price parity in the cultured meat industry has long been recognized as the high cost of growth factors needed to grow cells in meat, but the Japanese company Integriculture believes it has discovered the solution for this with its CulNet co-cultivation system.

“The co-culture approach is an approach that involves using multiple types of ‘feeder’ cells to produce growth factors in situ in their own individual feeder bioreactors and then feeding those growth factors as serum grown to target cells, e.g. muscle cells to produce meat, in a target cell bioreactor,”Integriculture Founder and CEO Yuki Hanyu told the audience during the unveiling of the CulNet system at the recent Cellular Agriculture: Asia Summit 2022.

E-commerce assessment: Japan highlights best-before dates and allergens for new online food rules

The Japanese government has drafted a new set of labeling guidelines specifically aimed at regulating food and drink sold online, with an emphasis on displaying best before dates and food allergens.

The initiative is overseen by the Japan Consumer Agency (CAA) in response to the rapid increase in online platform sales in recent years, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines were based on a survey conducted by the CAA in Japan last year to understand consumer demands and any discrepancies between food and drink sold via e-commerce and the actual conditions of these upon arrival.

“In recent years, food purchases through e-commerce sites have steadily increased, a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic – but on the other hand, food labeling standards at Japan do not cover the display and publication of food-related information on these websites”,the CAA said via an official statement.

Export Expertise: Japan Unveils New Guidelines to Help Food Companies Maximize Growth Overseas

The Japanese government has issued a set of national export and expansion guidelines with the aim of helping local food and beverage companies expand the reach of their products in overseas markets.

This follows Japan hitting a record number of food and beverage exports in 2021, valued at 1.24 billion yen (9.56 billion U.S. dollars), which led the local ministry Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) to draft a set of national guidelines. so that the entire food industry achieves even more remarkable growth in the future.

“Today, many Japanese food and drink products reach overseas consumers through export channels. [where these are produced in Japan and then shipped out]but in the future, as we strengthen our links with foreign markets, we want to go beyond this and also locate our production in these markets”,said MAFF’s Office of Exports and International Affairs via an official statement.

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