Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

August 19, 2013

On September 1, Otsuka Launches "Omugi Seikatsu,"
a Healthy Breakfast Food With Barley Beta-Glucans

  • In the US and Europe, health claims have been approved for barley beta-glucans, a soluble dietary fiber that is found in large quantities in barley, and the consumption of at least 3,000 mg per day is recommended.*1 "Omugi Seikatsu"*2 has been developed using Otsuka's original technology to make it possible to obtain 1,000 mg to 3,000 mg of barley beta-glucans in a single meal.
  • Otsuka's "Omugi Rice" has been demonstrated to affect the postprandial glucose response and to have a so-called "second-meal effect."*3 Consumption of an adequate amount of barley beta-glucans at breakfast results in controlled absorption of the glucose consumed in meals eaten throughout the day.
  • Otsuka is introducing 5 new products in 3 distinct forms of highly palatable barley beta-glucans that will be available at supermarkets, drug stores and convenience stores nationwide.

On September 1, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Head office: Tokyo Japan; President and Representative Director: Taro Iwamoto) will launch the new "Omugi Seikatsu" brand line of 5 new products in 3 distinct forms - Omugi crackers, Omugi rice, and Omugi soup - all of which are rich in barley beta-glucans.
Barley beta-glucans act to control the absorption of glucose. Including Omugi Seikatsu as part of one's breakfast will have a beneficial effect on the meals that are eaten throughout the entire day, not only breakfast. Omugi Seikatsu is therefore an entirely new breakfast concept for health-conscious consumers.
Barley beta-glucans have been found to promote health in various ways, and have been the focus of much attention in the US and Europe.
Although barley beta-glucans are found in greater quantities in barley grains (approximately 3-6%) than in the grains of other grasses, because of barley's distinct flavor as well as the difficulty of processing them, it has proven difficult to bring barley beta-glucans to market.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical concentrated our efforts on the functional value of barley, and used a type of barley that contains beta-glucans in greater quantities (approximately 10%) in order to develop a product that would be a palatable breakfast food. In particular, each box of Otsuka's "Omugi Rice" recreates the flavor of freshly cooked barley rice and provides 3,000 mg of barley beta-glucans, yet takes just two minutes to prepare using a microwave.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical is advocating the benefits of barley, and proposing a new way of eating a barley beta-glucan enriched breakfast.

  • *1 The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a health claim for the assertion that the consumption of 3,000 mg of barley beta-glucans lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved a health claim for the assertion that the consumption of 3,000 mg or more of barley beta-glucans lowers blood cholesterol and reduces risk of (coronary) heart disease.
  • *2 Omugi = barley, Seikatsu = life in Japanese
  • *3 Fukuhara I et al. Effect of Cooked Rice with β-glucan Enriched Barley on Postprandial Glucose Response and Its Second Meal Effect (scheduled for publication in the August 29, 2013 issue of Japanese Pharmacology and Therapeutics).

Product Overview

"Omugi Seikatsu" brand website scheduled to go online September 1 at