Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH, the global leader in the research and manufacture of human milk oligosaccharides (HMO),and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili Group), China’s leading dairy company, announce today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on infant microbiome and human milk oligosaccharides, with the goal to develop an innovative infant formula and dairy products specifically tailored to the Chinese market.

“After already having introduced human milk oligosaccharides in other world regions, such as the key U.S. market and selected European countries, we are very excited to work with Yili, the domestic market leader for microbiome/baby food in China” stated Dr. Stefan Jennewein, CEO and Co-Founder of Jennewein Biotechnologie. “With 50% of the total global market volume (2021e: 76 billion US$) China is presently the largest market for baby food. We are committed to bringing the benefits of human milk oligosaccharides for the development of a healthy infant microbiome to Chinese parents and their children.”

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) constitute the third largest component of breast milk and are unique to humans in concentration and structural diversity. HMOs possess several physiological effects; they confer protection against infectious diseases (e.g. noro viruses) and act as prebiotics for the development of the infant microbiome. Today, it is widely recognized that the establishment of a healthy microbiome is key for the overall development of an infant. Failure to support a natural or healthy microbiome may potentially lead to obesity, autism or allergy development in addition to other existing issues in infant health and development. However, most infant formulas do not contain HMOs as of today.

Dr Gerrit Smit, managing director of Yili Innovation Center Europe stated: “Yili Group has been dedicated to Chinese breast milk composition studies for  years and has initiated the establishment of a Chinese Breast Milk Database. Yili has constantly brought innovative products to the market based on scientific research, for example Pro-Kido, and is looking forward to collaborating with Jennewein in the future.”

About HMOs:          

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are complex sugar molecules that are only present in breast milk. They are the third most abundant constituent of human milk after lipids and lactose. More than 200 structurally different HMOs have been identified. The most abundant HMO is 2′-fucosyllactose, which is produced by about 80% of all lactating mothers at concentrations of up to 2 g/L. Scientific studies have shown that HMOs, and 2′‑fucosyllactose in particular, have a positive impact on infant development. HMOs are prebiotic, i.e. they specifically promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms, and at the same time they inhibit the growth of pathogens. Jennewein Biotechnologie initially launched HMO 2′-fucosyllactose onto the global baby food market in 2015.

About Jennewein Biotechnologie:

As a leading international biotech company, Jennewein Biotechnologie manufactures an extensive portfolio of innovative HMO products (complex human oligosaccharides (HMOs) and rare monosaccharides, such as 2′‑fucosyllactose, 3-fucosyllactose and lacto-N-tetraose. These rare sugars are used in the food industry (particularly infant milk formulas), the pharmaceutical industry, and the cosmetic industry. The manufacturing process involves state-of-the-art fermentation techniques. The company is building one of the largest fermentation plants in Central Europe. In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Jennewein Biotechnologie a license to market 2′-fucosyllactose making it the first company to introduce the first biotechnologically produced human oligosaccharide into the infant feeding market in the United States. This was followed in 2017 by European Union authorisation under the Novel Food Regulation. Jennewein Biotechnologie works with most of the global baby food companies, and several infant milk formulas around the world now contain 2′-fucosyllactose (e.g. Abbott Similac).

About Yili Industrial Group:

According to Rabobank’s Global Dairy Top 20 list, Yili Group is the largest dairy company in Asia. Consistently ranking as the top dairy company in China for years, Yili has the most complete product categories in Chinese dairy industry. As the only Chinese dairy company that meets both the Olympic and the World Expo standards, Yili has successfully served the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. More than 100 million Yili products are delivered to consumers each day, and more than 37 billion Yili products are sold each year, including milk, yogurt, ice cream, and milk powder products. By gathering global resources and building networks in advanced dairy markets such as Europe, North America, Oceania, and Asia, Yili has been constantly achieving R&D innovations. Under the corporate philosophy “Yili represents the highest quality”, Yili has been advancing to become the most trustable healthy food provider worldwide. (Source: Jennewein Biotechnologie)

Media Contact:

Jennewein Biotechnologie

Dr. Bettina Gutierrez


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