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Joint Research on Food Functionality …Set to March into Global Market

Joint Research on Food Functionality …

Set to March into Global Market




The Korea National Food Cluster Support Center Showed Remarkable Progress in Joint Research on Elderly and Baby Food Products and Advanced Packaging Development Home and Abroad





‘Dual type oligosaccharide’ ‘Naturally fermented drink (Kombucha)’ and ‘Asazuke (Traditional Japanese Pickled Side Dish),’ these are the products produced and exported by Neo Cremar Co., Core Bio Co. and Mujin Co. and they have something in common. They have diverse flavors, colors and ingredients but all of these products were developed and secured competitiveness on global stage through the joint research with the Korea National Food Cluster.

This showed that the Korea National Food Cluster is realizing the government policy commitment to building robust global platform for food industry, supported by extensive R&D network, by putting food companies and research institutions together.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced August 23 that the Korea National Food Cluster and a member company, Neo Cremar Co. would kick off a joint research on organic rice to develop strategic export products with the ingredient.

The project is aimed to target global market with functional sugar products for the elderly and babies and has gained keen attention as an attempt to develop export products, using ingredients from Korean agricultural products. Preceding studies of the Korea National Food Cluster is already recognized, winning KRW 2.5 billion budget support from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy.

A source of the Korea National Food Cluster said “If the joint research reaps successful outcomes, it is expected to create demand of up to 2000 tons of organic rice consumption a year.” and added “As about KRW 300 million commercial production is expected for 1 ton of rice, it is expected to create almost 100 times value of organic rice.”

Kombucha, a naturally fermented drink, developed by a Korea-Russia venture company, Core Bio Co. is gaining popularity in overseas market. It was originally launched in North America as a popular fermented tea but research to identify fermentation strain and verify functional effect of the drink was essential to produce it in domestic market.

The company facing difficulties in these areas turned to the Korea National Food Cluster to seek assistance. At the cluster, they met experts in the field and received support for manufacturing permission from relevant institutions and finally they succeeded in product development.

Mujin Co. went through similar experiences in making successful advancement into Japanese market with ‘Asazuke’ product. Since Kimch is fermented food, there was inconvenient as it cannot be stored for a long time and this caused many troubles in exporting the product to foreign markets.

The support center at the cluster launched a joint research with Sejong University and a US research institute, USDA-ARS Food Science Research Unit, to address the issue and the result was quite successful.

The idea of applying manufacturing procedures of pickles in western countries to Korean Kimchi for prolonged preservation worked so well. The shelf life was extended from just 1 week to 1 month, making a lot more available for many consumers.

Research cooperation between the Korea National Food Cluster is gaining more momentum. In 2016, joint technology development projects were implemented with 19 companies, including member companies, △3 cases of patents were registered △ 3 academic papers were published △ and 13 outcomes were announced and promoted. This year, projects with 24 companies are going on with the theme of new product development and ingredient analysis.

Efforts are actively made to seek opportunities of cooperation with leading research institutes overseas to strengthen corporate competitiveness of Korean companies by introducing advanced food technologies from overseas.

World leading food and drink research institute, Camden BRI opened its research unit at the Korea National Food Cluster last March and starting from July, it began to provide services for those working in food industry. German food research institute, Fraunhofer IVV will also open its unit at the cluster around mid-2018.

Choi Hee-jong, the head of the Korea National Food Cluster Support Center said “In the future, instead of developing products with functional materials only, we should develop our own way of processing using natural materials from countries around the world to target foreign markets.” and added “Building extensive network of industry, academia and research institutes home and abroad, we will make the utmost efforts for development and nurturing of high functionality food products.”.

Article by Jeong Hyeok-soo

This is English translation of the article posted on Money Today.

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