Japanese pharmaceuticals group Kanebo said earlier this week that it has discovered that raspberry aroma can aid weight loss, and that as a result it will launch a new range of slimming products in May.

It is likely that the new line will add further heat to the already intense competition in the Japanese slimming-aid market. Shiseido, the cosmetics group recently announced plans to launch a new skin cream with certain fragrances including grapefruit which it alleges can aid weight loss.

The company is due to give a full report on the test results as a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, to be held in Chiba late March.