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HOME > Theme > Theme4 Research and development for the establishment of global standards for food quality and health effects
Theme4 Research and development for the establishment of global standards for food quality and health effects
Research theme leader: Takeya Yoshioka, Chief researcher, Hokkaido Industrial Technology Center
Fish crossing the sea and flying the sky
Currently, 20% (60,000 tons) of the world’s fish and shellfish catch are imported or exported. The trades in western countries, where people have not traditionally been big eaters of marine products, and East Asia, where the economy is growing rapidly, are particularly increasing, and sushi, Japan’s national dish, is now commonly seen in Hollywood movies. What we are seeing is the internationalization of fish foods.
Meanwhile, marine products and processed marine products produced in Japan, and in Hokkaido in particular, are popular not only in Japan, but also overseas. To enhance this premium high-quality fishery products of ours and provide high-quality, nutritious, safe and reliable seafood to consumers around the world, we are developing harvest, processing and distribution technologies of marine products.
(1) Making Japanese standards, world standards
Quality of fish, even that of the same species, varies depending on its freshness and handling. Therefore, special evaluation techniques used by judges is considered important in Japan. On the other hand, to expand the market from Japan to overseas, it is necessary to develop evaluation standards that can be adopted easily overseas. Therefore, we are investigating quality evaluation techniques for fish and shellfish, which are based on scientific evidence while retaining craftsman-like factors unique to Japan.
(2) What are effective ways of using marine materials?
Marine materials such as seaweeds and fish have beneficial functions and characteristics. How can we use them as food and food materials? Beneficial functions and characteristics change significantly depending on how they are used. Therefore, by focusing on the microbiological viewpoints and the state of the water in the food that influences the taste and quality of the food, we are investigating, using scientific measures, technologies for enhancing the quality, taste and characteristics of food.
(3) The Fish “Resume”
To create a Hakodate brand, it is important to ensure that marine products carrying this brand name are produced in Hakodate (reliability) and that they do not harm our health (safety). Therefore, we are investigating technologies for identifying the catch area of fish and shellfish using DNA test and trace metal analysis and technologies for rapidly detecting harmful microorganisms in food.
(4) Tracking the “footprints” of fish
It is very important to provide consumers with information collected in the aforementioned research (1, 2, 3 above). One of our research topics is to establish a system that allows the identification of the catch areas and distribution routes of fish in stores (i.e., traceability system). We are investigating technologies for receiving information on mobile phones—a gadget many around the world have.
Production of marine products based on scientific evidence - R&D on innovative distribution technologies
Production of marine products based on scientific evidence - R&D on innovative distribution technologies

R&D on biomass functional ingredients and technologies for stabilizing and improving food quality by water-content control
R&D on biomass functional ingredients and technologies for stabilizing and improving food quality by water-content control

Support system for ensuring reliability and safety of local food brands
Support system for ensuring reliability and safety of local food brands

R&D on the next generation super versatile integrated technology for transmitting global fisheries information
R&D on the next generation super versatile integrated technology for transmitting global fisheries information
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