- Low-Protein Hetbahn contains protein reduced by 90% for patients with congenital metabolic diseases such as phenylketonuria.
- A cumulative total of 1.5 million containers have been sold over the past ten years, and CJ CheilJedang will “continue to produce Low-Protein Hetbahn for our corporate social responsibility, not for profit.”
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the release of CJ CheilJedang’s Low-Protein Hetbahn for patients with rare diseases who must abstain from food containing protein.
The protein content of Low-Protein Hetbahn is 10% of that of regular Hetbahn. As an extension of our efforts to “donate our talent”, the product was first released in 2009 to fulfill CJ CheilJedang’s corporate social responsibility and serve those suffering from congenital metabolic diseases such as phenylketonuria (PKU).
PKU is a rare inherited disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to an increased level of the amino acid phenylalanine in the blood. One out of every 60,000 newborns is born with this disease and required to maintain a diet free from phenylalanine throughout his or her life as it can result in cognitive disabilities or neurological disorders. The number of patients suffering from metabolic diseases and requiring a low-protein diet stands at over 200 in Korea, including over 140 PKU patients.
CJ CheilJedang conducted R&D for this product in March 2009 at the request of an employee who has a daughter suffering from PKU. We succeeded in securing exclusive technology and manufacturing facilities based on an investment of KRW 800 million and seven months of research and in launching Low-Protein Hetbahn at the end of October of the same year. In the ten years since then, approximately 1.5 million containers of Low-Protein Hetbahn have been manufactured and sold. This means 200 patients were able to enjoy Low-Protein Hetbahn for at least two meals a day.
The production time for Low-Protein Hetbahn is over ten times longer than that of regular Hetbahn, as special processes are required, including protein resolution following rice polishing, which takes a full day. It may seem impractical to put this product on the market from the perspectives of production efficiency and profit as it targets only 200 customers or so. However, our sense of mission that “it is the duty of CJ CheilJedang as the leader in readymade cooked rice” has continued to drive its production.
We have continually engaged in support activities for patients with rare metabolic diseases since 2010, such as providing Low-Protein Hetbahn and donating to the annual camp held for pediatric patients with PKU and their families. Director Shin Su-jin of the Hetbahn Innovation Team said, “Messages of appreciation and support from patients with congenital metabolic diseases and their families in need of low-protein food give us motivation and a sense of achievement. We remain dedicated to carrying out various activities centering on Low-Protein Hetbahn to contribute to the coprosperity of our society.”