Morinaga Institute of
Biological Science, Inc.

Company information

About us


Morinaga Institute of Biological Science, Inc. (MIoBS) was founded in 1973 as the biochemical laboratory of the research institute of Morinaga & Co,. Ltd., a Japanese historical confectionary manufacturer.

We became independent as Morinaga Institute of Biological Science in October of 1980.

Since then, we have been developing products centering on the fields of medicine discovery support and food safety, utilizing the advanced immunoassay technology we have refined over our long history.

Founded on our vision to “study health scientifically,” our mission is “to provide society with reliable products, services, and information that is 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 diabetes medicine.

These were our first products released to market.

They are used in a large number of research studies and are highly regarded internationally. Our Japanese market share has grown to around 90 %.

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 and 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.

In the same way as our insulin ELISA kits, these food allergen test kits are major products in our company that are regularly used by not only food companies and official institutes in Japan, but also service labs, food companies and government institutes abroad today.

Our activity


As a result of the (recent) increase in global interest in food allergies, the Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Food Labeling has listed the foods and ingredients that cause the most severe reactions and most cases of food hypersensitivity.

In section 4. 2. 1. 4 of General Standards for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods it states that the following foods and ingredients are known to cause hypersensitivity and shall always be declared:

  • Cereals containing gluten ; i.e. , wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt or their hybridized strains and products of these;
  • Crustacea and products of these;
  • Eggs and egg products;
  • Fish and fish products;
  • Peanuts, soybeans and products of these;
  • Milk and milk products (lactose included);
  • Tree nuts and nut products;
  • Sulphite in concentrations of 10 mg/kg or more.

These are what we call “the Big 8”.

While the list contains the major allergens on a global basis, the foods which are common causes of allergenic reactions, differ between each country. Therefore, some countries add the foods which are identified as causes of allergenic reactions according to their food habits.

Here in Japan, there is also regulations about the labeling of foods that contain allergens have been coming into effect since April 2001.

Twenty-eight items have been designated for labeling and the Food Sanitation Act mandates that seven of those items (egg, milk, wheat, buckwheat, peanut, shrimp and crab) must be listed in the ingredients.

We used our exclusive immunoassay technology to begin selling ELISA kits for allergen testing (5 items: egg, milk, wheat, buckwheat and peanut) in April 2002. 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 Food Allergen ELISA Kits that measure quantities in highly processed foods using the extraction solution developed exclusively by us. In the same year, the kits were seen as validated and accurate test kits by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. Many Japanese public testing agencies, analysis agencies and food companies use them to this day. Recognizing the sophistication of the technology, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognized as the gluten kit as a useful testing method for gluten analysis of gluten-free foods in August 2013.

External links

Morinaga Co. Parent company of Morinaga Institute of Biological Science, Inc.
Consumer Affairs Agency Japanese official in charge of food allergen labeling
CODEX Global guideline for food allergen labeling
US-FDA U.S. government official in charge of food safety