Food, Tobacco & Beverage Fermentation

Chinese innovators in the area of beverage fermentation are adding a new twist on an ancient practice. Leveraging the purported health benefits of many herbal Chinese remedies, several companies are protecting antediluvian concoctions with patents, and bringing them to market to cure myriad ailments.

Their inventions fall under the industry category of Food, Tobacco and Beverage Fermentation and are one factor that contributed to the overall 21% increase in year-over-year innovation activity for this sector.

Chinese tonic-wine patent filings started in 1994 and have grown exponentially over the last five years, including a monumental 247% increase identified by Thomson Reuters analysts for Harbin Shanbao Wine Industries last year.

Utilizing natural elements like the seed of Chinese dodder, radish seeds, birthwort, ginseng, mint, walnut kernels and more, these healthcare wines proclaim to improve kidney and liver functions, memory, circulation, blood pressure, inflammation, congestion and sundry other ailments.

China takes the top five slots globally related to food, tobacco and beverage fermentation innovation. However, in terms of the most impactful food-science technology research, Asia is missing from the top institution’s list. Instead, that comprises the University of British Columbia (Canada), Universitat de Lleida (Spain), South Dakota State University (U.S.), Aarhus University (Denmark) and University of Reading (U.K.).

«PrevBiotechnology NextOil, Gas, & Energy»

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”


Patent Activity



Change from 2013
*Unique innovations may be represented in multiple subsectors.

Top 5 Companies

  • 1 China Tobacco 865
  • 2 Harbin Shanbao Wine 127
  • 3 Shenzhen Heyuan 101
  • 4 Univ Jiangnan 84
  • 5 Hunan Zhongyan 84
  • 1 Hauni 67
  • 2 Univ Kuban Technol 54
  • 3 British American Tobacco 53
  • 4 Novozymes 37
  • 5 DSM 33
  • 1 Philip Morris 72
  • 2 Reynolds Tobacco 37
  • 3 Danisco US 33
  • 4 Altria Client Services 33
  • 5 General Mills 28

(Patent Data as of March 2015) Total number of documents by region