Protein Intake Optimization
The Ajinomoto Group is dedicated to improving the intake of protein, particularly among the underprivileged and elderly populations as well as those living in geographical locations where high-quality protein is in accessible. Through our unique approach to providing amino acids, our solutions can complement lower-quality protein sources, combine to form dietary protein, and function as seasonings which enhance the flavor of protein-containing meals.
Why is it Important
There is a widespread issue of insufficient dietary protein intake among the underprivileged and elderly as well as those living in certain regions of the world where access to high-quality protein is lacking. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 20% of seniors around the world do not have sufficient nutritional intake, including of protein, which causes loss of muscle mass and declining cognitive function. As cognitive decline progresses, there is a greater likelihood of it leading to dementia.
As a company based in Japan, which is leading the world in an aging population, we have had the opportunity to innovate in advance of an aging population on a global scale. Not only is the global population aging, but at the same time our food system will need to support a larger population with fewer resources.
By ensuring that nutritious protein options are within reach for all, we are helping to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #2 for Zero Hunger and #3 for Good Health and Well-being. Ensuring proteins come from a variety of sources, including plant-based protein, reflects our dedication to goal #13 for Climate Action.
What the Ajinomoto Group is Doing
Providing people with High-Quality Protein and Amino Acids
We promote the use of sustainable and diverse protein sources and supplement products with amino acids to enhance nutrition and optimize protein intake. For instance, we provide Amino Acid Prime Mix, a line of optimally formulated amino acid ingredients for food and beverage products to our B to B customers. In addition, our Quick Nourishment business provides ready-to-eat meals that make quality protein accessible for everyday consumers. With increasing number of products that utilize the “power of amino acids”, we are able to support comfortable lives of many people.
Delicious Plant-Based Protein
When it comes to plant-based meat alternatives, dissatisfaction with taste is frequently a barrier for consumer acceptance, particularly with regards to missing the savory aspect of meat. The Ajinomoto Group produces ingredients that deliver umami – or savory deliciousness – to plant-based products which is critical for creating the desirable meaty characteristics that consumers want. By making plant-based foods taste better, we are helping to promote the enjoyment of foods that people should be eating more of.
Addressing Undernutrition in Older Adults
Among older adults, insufficient protein intake can have a severe impact on health. One of the biggest physical problems faced by the elderly is sarcopenia, which is the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength that can lead to mobility disorders and fractures. Proper nutrition, including sufficient protein intake, can help improve outcomes, and as experts in amino acids, we are in a natural position to make a positive impact in this area. Our Amino L40 product is a proprietary blend of 9 essential amino acids, including 40% L-Leucine, that are vital for muscle synthesis. This product is used as an ingredient by food companies to improve the nutritional quality of their products, and it is also sold as a supplement under the Ajinomoto brand.
Addressing Undernutrition in Children
In certain regions of the world, such as Southeast Asian countries, protein is one of the major the lacking nutrients in children. To address this issue of undernutrition in this region, we launched Prottie®, a nutritious powdered beverage, in Thailand and the Philippines to facilitate the intake of nutrients such as protein and calcium. In addition, we communicate with mothers in this market on the importance of protein and other factors for the growth of their children through social media and by selling our products via ecommerce.
Sustainable Protein Offerings
The Ajinomoto Group has acquired exclusive marketing rights in Japan for Mankai, a high-protein ingredient made from the aquatic plant duckweed. Mankai is a plant-based ingredient that offers excellent nutritional value, including vitamins A, E and B12; minerals such as zinc and iron; omega-3 fatty acids; and dietary fiber. In collaboration with Hinoman Ltd. of Israel, the makers of Mankai, we are co-developing new products with good nutritional balance by combining Mankai with processing and other technological capabilities.
Amino Acids for Performance
Through our aminoVITAL line, we provide plant-based amino acid products that support endurance, faster recovery, and reduced muscle soreness for athletes and those with active lifestyles. Learn more here.
Ajinomoto Cambrooke, a consolidated subsidiary of the Ajinomoto Group, which manufactures and sells medical foods globally, develops and manufactures medical foods for patients with abnormal amino acid metabolism. This food supports protein intake by removing or reducing certain amino acids that cannot be metabolized due to the disease, while fortifying other necessary amino acids. Click here to learn more.
SEE IT IN ACTION
Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition
We are proud to co-chair the Japanese chapter of the Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Collaboration for Healthier Lives, which is focused on healthy longevity by preventing non-communicable diseases which can be influenced by diet and lifestyle choices. Learn more here.
Ghana Nutrition Improvement Project
In 2009, we launched the Ghana Nutrition Improvement Project to address malnutrition among infants and children in cooperation with the government of Ghana, University of Ghana, and other international NGOs and corporations. To address malnutrition issues, we developed Koko Plus, a supplement to be added to the traditional porridge called “koko”, which is fed to weaning infants in Ghana but is deficient in protein and several micronutrients. This project is now being overseen by the Ajinomoto Foundation and more details can be found here.