MIoBS was founded in 1973 as the biochemistry laboratory of the research institute of Morinaga & Co ,. Ltd.1), Japan’s oldest confectionary manufacturer, and became independent as Morinaga Institute of Biological Science in October of 1980. Since then, armed with the advanced immunoassay technology we have refined over our long history, we have been developing products centering on the fields of drug discovery support and food safety. Founded on our vision to “study health scientifically,” our mission is “to provide society with reliable products, services, and information that are based on scientific evidence and to contribute to people’s health, safety, and peace of mind.”
With our superior immunoassay technology, we developed insulin ELISA kits that are indispensable in the development of drugs. These products are used in a large number of research studies2) to make our share of the Japanese market approximately 90% and are also highly regarded internationally.
We are also using our advanced technology in the field of food safety to produce food allergen test kits. The history of our food allergen test kits began when our parent company Morinaga & Co. began selling cookies called “Amaranth Cookies” that contained no milk, egg, or soy. ELISA kits that test for milk, egg, and soy protein are used for this product, which contributed to the development of products that people with allergies can safely eat. Like our insulin ELISA kits, these kits are major products of our company that are regularly used by food companies in Japan and all over the world today.
As a result of the recent increase in global interest in food allergies, regulations about the labeling of foods that contain allergens have been coming into effect in Japan since April 2001. Twenty-seven items3) have been designated for labeling and the Food Sanitation Act mandates that seven of those items (eggs, milk, wheat, buckwheat, peanut, shrimp, and crab) be listed in the ingredients.
We used our exclusive immunoassay technology to begin selling ELISA kits for allergen testing (5 items) before the rest of the world in April 2002, and the kits were designated as official testing methods by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in November of the same year. In 2005, we began selling FASPEK allergen testing kits that allow users to measure quantities in processed foods using an extract developed exclusively by MIoBS. That same year, the kits were designated as validated and accurate test kits by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, and many Japanese public testing agencies, analysis agencies, and food companies use them to this day. Then, recognizing the sophistication of the technology, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated the wheat kit5) as the official testing method for gluten-free foods.
3) As of January 2014
4) Foods that are considered to be a particularly common cause of allergies and likely need to be labeled because of the frequency or severity of allergies
5) Falls under the category of MIoBS’s Wheat/Gluten (Gliadin) ELISA Kit