Prepared Foods September 6, 2005 eNewsletter

The Ajinomoto Co. group is taking steps to bolster its business of science-backed health foods with a special focus on products containing capsiate, a compound that is derived from a mild strain of chili pepper and is said to be effective against obesity and lifestyle diseases.

Development and promotion of health food products will be managed by an organization traversing Ajinomoto's three in-house companies in the fields of food, amino acids and medicines. In addition, all health food products will be sold under a common logo: the English-language text "Fundamental Foods" in gold.

The objective is to develop health foods that provide a foundation for healthy living, targeting consumers concerned about obesity and lifestyle diseases. Like capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, capsiate promotes sweating and burns fat. However, it is not spicy, so it does not irritate the stomach and intestines.

The Ajinomoto group has acquired intellectual property rights to capsiate from Morinaga & Co. To appeal to consumers, it intends to conduct scientific testing to back the claims of the health food products it develops based on the compound.

Last fiscal year, the Ajinomoto group's heath food business posted sales of around 30 billion yen ($273 million). The goal is to boost the figure to 100 billion yen ($912 million) in fiscal 2010.

Source: Asia Pulse