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Manuka Health seeks to strengthen links with Japan

Manuka Health seeks to strengthen links with Japan 7 June 2013

Manuka Health was one of a select group of New Zealand functional food companies to be invited by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to a workshop in Japan to introduce leading-edge research to Japanese food and beverage companies.

The “New Zealand Innovation to Industry Workshop”, was held at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology recently where Manuka Health was invited to speak on the topic of generating intellectual property for natural products and functional foods.

The workshop was the first of its kind organised by MBIE in Japan to help New Zealand’s research-based, innovation to form research and commercial partnerships with another country.

In addition to functional food companies, other invited participants from New Zealand included representatives of the Universities of Auckland, Massey and Otago, the Riddet Institute (a national Centre of Research Excellence), and Crown Research Institutes, including Callaghan Innovation, Plant and Food and AgResearch.

Manuka Health’s Chief Executive Officer Kerry Paul says it was a privilege to be invited to the government-sponsored workshop by the ministry, alongside universities, crown research institutes and other functional food companies.

“The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate our focus on bringing high quality health products and functional foods to consumers, backed by research to quantify the characteristics of the bioactives in our products,” says Kerry.

“We’re optimistic this exposure will open up new opportunities for collaboration, which will in turn increase our access to Asian markets.”

Manuka Health’s Research and Development Manager, Dr Mandy Suddes, spoke at the workshop about CycloPower™, the company’s patented technology to encapsulate the bioactive compound of manuka honey (methylgyloxal) in cyclodextrins for greater activity and discussed the benefits of using cyclodextrins with propolis.

Cyclodextrins are sugar compounds that can carry bioactives, enhancing their solubility, stability, and increasing bioavailability and absorption.

Dr Suddes also outlined Manuka Health’s work, in collaboration with Callaghan Innovation (formerly Industrial Research Ltd), around using bioassays for quantification of the bioactives in propolis.

Callaghan Innovation’s Dr Bradley Williams said research into propolis’ anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity was producing some exciting results. He said this work had identified some highly active compounds in propolis, outlining the results of laboratory tests on cancer cells.

Manuka Health’s Bio 100 ™ New Zealand Propolis, launched last year, is the world’s first propolis with certified highly concentrated levels of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and three major bioflavonoids. The propolis in these products contains a minimum of 100mg/g of bioactive compounds.


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