Say Hello to Functional Foods with Immune Health Benefits

Japan’s First-Ever Foods with Functional Claims for Immune System Support

In collaboration with Kirin Beverages, Kirin Holdings launch a series of new food products containing the IMMUSE™ Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (LC-Plasma) in 2021 after receiving the Foods with Function Claims status from Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) the previous year.

The Only Functional Food Products Labeled for Immune Support

Introduced by the CAA in April 2015, the “Foods with Functional Claims” label was established to make more products with clearly labeled health benefits more accessible and enable consumers to make more informed choices. For products to claim effectiveness on labeling, they must first become registered with the CAA, reassuring consumers that the product’s health claims are trustworthy and reliable.

What are Functional Foods?

Functional foods are products with added ingredients that provide extra health benefits beyond basic nutrition. The concept originated in Japan, which was also the first country to develop a regulatory approval process for manufacturing and branding functional foods. According to the American Dietician Association (ADA), the Japanese functional food market is one of the most advanced in the world.

In order to receive Foods with Functional Claims status, manufactures must submit scientific evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of the product’s health claim to the Secretary-General of Consumer Affairs Agency prior to hitting the market.

Backed by 29 published studies, including 14 human trials (or RTCs), Kirin’s proprietary LC-Plasma (branded IMMUSE™ in other markets) were the first immune system-related products receive Foods with Functional Claims for Immune Health status. No other competitors have received this status, making IMMUSE™-based products the only products in Japan that can claim immune support on labels.

Summary of the Functional Food Labeling Registration

This product contains Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (LC-Plasma). It has been shown to support maintenance of the immune system in healthy individuals by stimulating pDCs (plasmacytoid dendritic cell).

About the Functional Foods Ingredient LC-Plasmsa

LC-Plasma is a unique strain of lactic acid bacteria, which are commonly used in the fermentation of cheese and yogurt. It is the first strain of bacterium clinically shown to activate a rare subset of immune cells called plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) that are known to act as leaders of the immune system, recruiting and directing an army of key immune cells critical for a strong defense system.

With consumers becoming increasingly aware of the need to take care of their immune health, Kirin Holdings aims to contribute to maintaining people's health and well-being by developing easy-to-consume products, such as yogurts, beverages and chewable tablets, that support the maintenance of immune function in healthy people via LC-Plasma. There are now 22 finished products containing LC-Plasma available in Japan bearing the “Foods with Functional Claims for Immune Health” label.

Jointly developed by Kirin Holdings, Koiwai Dairy and Kyowa Hakko Bio, the functional foods and dietary supplement ingredient entered the U.S. and European markets branded IMMUSE™ in 2020 and 2021; and is quickly becoming widely available in a variety of immune health formulated products. Just click the button below to find products with IMMUSE.

Where to Find Products with IMMUSE