AMOREPACIFIC has opened a third research center for product R&D.
AMOREPACIFIC R&D Center opened the Green Tea Probiotics Research Center on Feb. 17th and began researching in earnest. Green Tea Probiotics Research Center is in charge of studying lactobacillus found in the organic tea field in Jeju and developing various products for AMOREPACIFIC.
The R&D center, located in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, has been researching green tea since the 1980s and has expanded the scope to research new varieties of green tea with active ingredients that improve the skin. In addition to microorganisms, the center also works on skin, scalp, and hair properties. Through these studies, in 2010, the center revealed that in fermented organic green tea leaves, there is a plant-based green tea lactic acid strain, Lactobacillus plantarum APsulloc, that helps fermentation. This finding led to the registration of a patent.
In particular, the analysis of its genome revealed that the effect lasts longer because it has a superior ability to stay within the intestine than other existing lactic acid strains. Also, it is confirmed to have an excellent antibacterial effect, which is excellent in inhibiting harmful bacteria and has antibiotic resistance.
According to an associate of the Green Tea Probiotics Research Center, “It can be interpreted in line with environmental factors such as the climate of Jeju. The island’s green teas grow on the coast, facing gusts with high salinity. The daily temperature range is also significantly wide. These factors apply stresses on plants, and the human digestive system is likewise a stressful environment. It's a similar mechanism to how grapes that are grown on barren lands taste better than those grown on fertile soil.”
In particular, the lactic acid bacteria were known to have outstanding anti-obesity effects. Obesity is a type of inflammation, and the biomarkers that indicate this inflammation have been reduced by creating a simulated environment similar to obesity in the laboratory and administering green tea-derived lactic acid bacteria. It is also beneficial for stomach health—gastric ulcer biomarkers were lowered after the addition of lactic acid bacteria with alcohol components.
The lactic acid bacteria work well for food cultures that consume a lot of salt, including Korea. Salt causes problems in the digestive system, leading to metabolic syndrome and obesity. A simple medication can be prescribed, but it often results in side effects. On the other hand, lactic acid bacteria are known to have no side effects.
Catechin, a green tea extract, has a different role from lactic acid bacteria, but synergistic effects may occur when they are consumed together. Because lactic acid bacteria grow and evolve as they eat green tea leaves, researchers predict that the green tea substance may play an additional role in the gut as food for lactic acid bacteria. In general, green tea catechins demonstrate antibacterial properties, which makes it difficult for the strain to survive.
The R&D center will further verify the efficacy of the material through the newly established Green Tea Probiotics Research Center and develop products using green tea lactic acid bacteria in health foods and cosmetics. The research field will also be expanded to microorganisms, e.g., microbiomes, which refer to microorganisms that live in the human body and their genetic information.
"Through the discovery and research of new green tea lactic acid bacteria, we will work hard to showcase excellent products," said an associate at AMOREPACIFIC.