Korean demand for red ginseng spikes in line with immunity trends
19 Aug 2021 --- Korean ginseng brand CheongKwanJang, under Korean Ginseng Corporation (KGC), has observed a prominent upsurge in the demand for red ginseng to improve immunity and health since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Korea.
CheongKwanJang accounted for approximately 70 percent of the entire red ginseng market in the first half of 2021.
“Korea’s red ginseng is exported to various countries across the world such as the US, China, Japan and Europe, contributing to the health of people around the world,” comments KGC CEO Kim Jae-soo.
CheongKwanJang is made with high quality red ginseng that is cultivated on inspected soil for six years under a 100 percent cultivation contract to guarantee the purity of this domestically grown crop.
Cultivation and processing
In Korean red ginseng farming, a total of 290 safety inspections are conducted over the period of eight years – two years for soil management and six years for cultivation – from land selection to product release to ensure reliable products that customers can safely consume without concerns.
As a supplement, the six-year-old red ginseng undergoes a steaming and drying process. Through this method, saponins, red ginseng polysaccharides, amino sugars and minerals are generated in harmony.
Together, these compounds can effectively reduce fatigue by promoting the hormone that generates energy and drops the concentration of tiredness-inducing substances present in the body.
In addition, it helps improve immunity by promoting the activity of macrophage that kills viruses and cancer cells.
Red ginseng is officially recognized for its efficacy by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in Korea, a governmental agency that manages the safety of medicines and food.
It is a best-selling healthy food in Korea with a proven function in immunity improvement, fatigue recovery, blood circulation improvement, memory improvement and antioxidation. In particular, the number of people looking for red ginseng has sharply increased recently.
Appetite for immunity
Further, the immunity improvement effect of red ginseng has been flagged in various studies.
Professor Jo Jae-yeol’s team at Sungkyunkwan University revealed that red ginseng polysaccharide boosts the immune system by activating the macrophage cells that control the immune system of the body.
In other research, Professor Jo Yeong-geol at the College of Medicine, University of Ulsan confirmed that AIDS patients could improve their immunity and survive for a longer period of time when they took red ginseng on a long term basis.
Immunity was one of the fastest-growing health buzzwords across global foodscape, in terms of the number of new product launches between 2016 and 2020, according to Innova Market Insights data.
Excluding supplements, immune support claims are currently focused in three main food and drink categories: Babies and Toddlers, Sports Nutrition and Dairy.
These accounted for a combined 73 percent of immune claims on new products in 2020. Smaller but growing subcategories include soft drinks and hot beverages, with a particular interest in juice drinks and tea.
By Benjamin Ferrer
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