Research & Development

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Research & Development

Challenging and creating with customers  through collaborative R&D

To speed up the development of high-quality products, Ogawa has launched a new R&D center in Ami, Ibaraki Prefecture, in addition to the Maihama Research Center, located in Chiba Prefecture. The centers engage in the research and development of new flavors and fragrances, in collaboration with customers.

The Maihama Research Center, a venue for collaboration with customers

 A 30-minute drive from central Tokyo, our Maihama Research Center lies in an excellent location affording fine views of Tokyo Bay and Mount Fuji. The Maihama Research Center houses all research units: the Flavor R&D Division, Savory SBU R&D Division, Fragrance R&D Division, and Analytical Laboratory. The consolidation was aimed at having these units pool their respective strengths, share results, and communicate with each other to induce synergistic benefits. Another feature of the center is its environment for development through collaboration with customers. It is equipped with diverse facilities for the creation of targeted flavors and fragrances, and reconfirmation of the results, all with the participation of customers. The center is a venue for open collaboration with customers for innovation.


The Tsukuba Research Center, a venue for creating materials and technology

 Completed in March 2017, the Tsukuba Research Center was established to enhance Ogawa’s material development capability. The Tsukuba Research Center is located on the premises of the Tsukuba Plant to enable smooth coordination with the production department.
The goal of the center is to “create original materials and technology” and focuses on natural processing (distillation, extraction, fractionation, refinement), synthesis, fermentation, reaction flavors, analysis, and functionality assessment. It will undertake research and development of new materials that will be used as the basic ingredients for our products, such as natural fragrances, extracts, synthetic fragrances, functional ingredients, and health ingredients. Ogawa will further advance our science-based research and development to assist clients in developing high value-added products.


Distinctive devices for sharing flavor and fragrance images

 Development of flavors and fragrances matching product concepts requires an accurate sharing of the picture in the customer's mind. For this purpose, the Maihama Research Center has built a database of flavor and fragrance terminology by statistically analyzing the diverse expressions. We use this tool for an alignment of ideas while interviewing customers. The center also has "flavor kits" consisting of flavors and fragrances divided into single parts, so customers can check sensory expressions by actually sniffing or trying the referents. Through these kinds of unique techniques, we obtain a good grasp of even the most subtle nuances of the flavors and fragrances pictured by the customers.

Flavorists and perfumers who can distinguish thousands of aromatic materials

In developing flavors and fragrances, a vital role is played by flavorists in the Flavor Department and perfumers in the Fragrance Department. These professionals find the right materials from an enormous portfolio, and compound flavors and fragrances from them. They have the ability to distinguish literally thousands of items. In some cases, even the chemical structures can also be imagined with just one whiff of a scent. At our Maihama Research Center, many such experts are on hand to develop products along with our technical experts. This makes it possible to compound intricate flavors and fragrances that fit the customer's image, right on the spot.


Consolidation of all Laboratories into our centers in Maihama and Tsukuba to induce a creative synergyConsolidation of four laboratories into one center to induce a creative synergy

 

From evaluation to final product prototyping Unique facilities geared for collaboration with customers
At right are a few of the many elaborate facilities we have installed at the Maihama Research Center and the Tsukuba Research Center for promotion of flavor and fragrance development together with our customers.

 Three-port odor sniffing - gas chromatograph

Using this equipment, three people (including customers) can simultaneously evaluate individual aroma compounds separated by GC. It enables the mutual confirmation and sharing of the image for the target aroma.


 Spinning Cone Column (SCC)

This device is used to obtain fresh aromatic ingredients from natural materials that are vulnerable to heat.


 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a powerful spectroscopic technique that provides information about the structural and chemical properties of molecules. This technique is used for the identification of unknown compounds existed in nature or synthesized compounds.


 Molecular distiller

This device performs distillation under high vacuum, and therefore can efficiently yield compounds that have very high boiling points or high heat instability.


 Application room

In this room, staffs make samples of foods and beverages endowed with the newly developed flavors. This enables them to directly check the taste and aroma in the final product.


 Compounding room

Stocked with thousands of aromatics and essences, this is where our flavorists and perfumers do their work. They can compound flavors and fragrances that fit the customer's delicate image.


 UHT pasteurizer

In our development of green tea extracts and flavors for beverages sold in PET bottles, we use ultra high temperature (UHT) pasteurizer to create products through simulation of actual manufacturing processes.


 Spray dryers

This equipment manufactures powders by spraying and drying a slurry liquid. The resulting powdered flavors are used in powdered beverages, seasonings, and confectioneries.


 Fragrance evaluation booths

These booths are used for evaluation of the fragrances of application samples and products. The temperature, humidity, and brightness are kept at constant levels so that the evaluations are always made under identical environmental conditions.


 Sensory evaluation rooms

In these rooms, research staff and customers do development work while actually sniffing and discussing the flavors. These rooms are hermetically-closed so that even the most subtle flavors can be evaluated.


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