Ajinomoto acquires sales rights of Mankai in Japan


Japanese food company Ajinomoto has entered an agreement with Israeli venture firm Hinoman to close a contract by investing $15m in the latter, as well as acquire exclusive sales rights of its high-protein Mankai plant material in Japan.

The company noted that reports have indicated that nutrition imbalance is emerging as a social issue for a wide range of generations, including the elderly and young women in Japan.

By providing a sustainable product with nutritional value to Japanese consumers, Ajinomoto intends to address the issue of insufficient protein and amino acid nutrition.

The firm intends to establish a new business entity that will be engaged in the promotion of processed foods that use Mankai, as well as sell it as an ingredient.

Mankai is an aquatic plant duckweed and its breeding rights are held by Hinoman in Israel.

It is reported to have a higher digestion and absorption efficiency in the body in comparison to the existing protein ingredients and contains vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids and dietary fibre.

By combining Mankai with its own seasoning and processing technologies, as well as product development abilities, Ajinomoto intends to develop new products with a well-balanced nutritional profile and sell them in the Japanese market.

"By providing a sustainable product with nutritional value to Japanese consumers, Ajinomoto intends to address the issue of insufficient protein and amino acid nutrition."

As part of this deal, Ajinomoto will be investing in Hinoman by subscribing to a third-party allocation of new shares, as well as acquiring those from existing shareholders.

Ajinomoto is planning to complete the investment later this month and intends to launch products that use Mankai by next year.


Image: Ajinomoto acquires sales rights of Mankai in Japan. Photo: courtesy of Ajinomoto.