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Material Research & Development Center

New laboratory established to pursue research on functional products

A new research center with the goal of creating original materials and technology

 The Material Research & Development Center was established with the aim of strengthening Ogawa's materials research and development functions, which were formerly based at the Maihama Research Center. The goal of the center is to create original materials and technology. Research and development began from June 2017 in this enhanced facility located in the research wing, on the premises of the Tsukuba Plant.

The Material Research & Development Center will conduct research and development of high-value-added materials that will be used as the basic ingredients for our products, such as natural and synthetic flavors/fragrances, extracts, functional ingredients, and health ingredients, focusing on natural processing (distillation, extraction, fractionation, refinement), synthesis, fermentation, reaction flavors, analysis, and functionality assessment.

For natural flavors/fragrances and extracts in particular, we will step up research and development of the technology to selectively extract a high yield of essential flavor components from natural materials, as well as develop high strength materials using enzyme reaction, fermentation technology, and thermal reaction, etc.

For functional and health ingredients, we will improve and enhance our specialty of materials for masking various off-flavors produced by heat, light, and oxygen. We will also pursue research on salty and sweet enhancement, which have seen rising demand amid increasing health consciousness.

In terms of achievements in materials development, our joint research projects with Monell Chemical Senses Center (USA) and Tohoku University have discovered that a natural flavor (Spilanthes acmella extract) has the feature of enhancing a carbonated sensation and salty taste. As a result of these joint research projects, we have succeeded in obtaining scientific evidence using cell response and nerve response, in addition to sensory assessment.

In one of our latest research, we have found through researching the flavor of apples with honey cores (which taste sweeter and better than ordinary apples), that the cause of sweetness is related more to flavor components rather than differences in sugar content. Building upon this knowledge, we have developed a sweetness enhancer.

For health materials, we have pursued research mainly in the functionality of various herbs. In one of our recent research, we have found through human study that winter savory extract has the effect of preventing coldness of the body (maintaining or raising body temperature).

For synthetic flavors, we have focused our efforts on searching for and synthesizing aroma components which exist in trace amounts in foods. These materials contribute to the development of high-quality flavors which achieve authentic taste or replicates the sense of cooking.

At the Material Research & Development Center, we are committed to engaging in science-based research for the development of original materials and technology, and making further efforts each day so that we can assist customers in developing high-value-added products.