Sustainability

Creation of Foods

Basic Concept
We look at food ingredients from their very essence. The technologies and passion that the Fuji Oil Group has cultivated since its foundation are an innovative force for trailblazing the potential of food. We wish strongly to use this force to resolve issues facing the world such as food shortages, undernutrition and the dietary lifestyle of seniors. Our mission is to continue to support consumers globally through the creation of delicious and healthy foods.

Research Structure to Create the Future of Food

The Fuji Oil Group’s research and development themes are diverse, ranging from basic research to development of ingredients, applications and engineering. Through relentless research and development, we believe we can continuously develop new technologies and innovative new ingredients that solve various dietary challenges to create the future of food. We established the Fuji Science & Innovation Center in the summer of 2016 as a venue for generating innovations by fusing knowledge and technology from inside and outside the Fuji Oil Group. Together with the Tsukuba Research & Development Center and the Asia R&D Center, we have built a tripolar global research and development structure to accelerate the fusion of knowledge and technology.

The mission of Research Organization is to use technological innovation to create the next-generation businesses that will become the pillars of our operations, with the aim of sustainable growth. As we conduct R&D initiatives and draw up strategies to deepen and develop existing businesses and commercialize new businesses, we are also investigating research fields for the future and building a joint research framework for open innovation.

In April 2015 we changed the name of our basic research laboratory to the R&D Division for Future Creation and newly established a basic technology team in charge of innovation of production technology in the laboratory to promote technological innovation and the creation of new businesses and new markets.

Global research facilities and FUJISUNNY PLAZA locations

locations
Facility Functions
Fuji Science & Innovation Center Undertakes the development of food ingredients in response to customer wants and needs as the focal point for fusing knowledge from inside and outside the Fuji Oil Group.
Tsukuba Research & Development Center Conducts application development that matches customer wants and needs, and basic research that leads to enhancement of technologies and to delicious, health foods.
Asia R&D Center Drawing on our store of know-how in ingredient development in Japan, the Asia R&D Center in Singapore pursues the development of food ingredients to meet the wants and needs of markets in Asia.
FUJISUNNY PLAZAs Conduct joint trial manufacturing and joint development at eight locations worldwide, including Tokyo, to serve as venues for co-creation with our customers.
The Fuji Science & Innovation Center: Integrating various measures to create research synergies at every turn

The newly established Fuji Science & Innovation Center plays an important role as the research and development headquarters for the Fuji Oil Group.

The facility integrates various measures to serve as the focal point for fusing knowledge from inside and outside the Fuji Oil Group. For example, research space has been consolidated on a single floor so that researchers can interact. With this new approach, barriers between departments have been removed, enabling free and frank communication. Innovations from new combinations have arisen from these discussions among researchers, such as oils and fats related technology that has led to a breakthrough on a certain soybean protein issue. The facility is also accelerating the fusion of knowledge and technology in ways such as establishing a collaboration laboratory for joint R&D with researchers from overseas group companies in a co-creation space. We are also vigorously promoting co-creation with customers through such measures as virtual factory tours that provide a conceptual image of product processing and an exhibition room that helps them understand the Fuji Oil Group’s businesses at a glance.

The Creation of Food to Resolve Social Issues

Food that is both delicious and healthy is a critical challenge in society’s aim for sustainability and the Fuji Oil Group’s most important initiative. As basic principles of the new Mid-Term Management Plan, our group is striving for development of business in functional high-value-added products and the growth of the soy business. These objectives are based on the urgent health and nutrition issues facing society, and we are making efforts for the creation of food to resolve social issues.

Themes

  • Food that is both
    delicious and healthy
  • Helping to combat
    shortages of food resources

Healthy Oils and Fats

There is demand for food ingredients that take health into account in areas such as improvement of physical functions and reduced allergens. The Fuji Oil Group creates a variety of healthy oils and fats in its pursuit of food that is both delicious and healthy for people worldwide.

Stabilized DHA and EPA

DHA and EPA, high quantities of which are present in fish and shellfish, are unsaturated fatty acids that are expected to have a wide range of health benefits including helping to reduce dementia risk. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s "Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese" recommends daily intake of DHA and EPA. However, previously available DHA and EPA were markedly deteriorated by oxidation and the accompanying fishy odor made them difficult to ingest other than in capsule form. The Fuji Oil Group succeeded in developing stabilized DHA and EPA, suppressing oxidation and fishy odor using a new technology for stable admixture of anti-oxidant ingredients that were not readily soluble in oils and fats. The main raw material of our group’s stabilized DHA and EPA is derived from algae, enabling stable and sustainable supply.

Flavor-enhancing oil

Using our DTR Technology, we developed a flavor-enhancing oil that brings out saltiness, sourness and piquancy with just a small amount of seasoning. The oil helps to reduce sodium in processed foods, for which low sodium is desirable from the viewpoint of preventing lifestyle-related diseases, and expectations are high for food service applications in hospitals and facilities for the elderly as a cooking oil for sodium reduction.

Products with low trans or non-trans fatty acid content

Excessive intake of trans fatty acids is said to increase the risk of heart disease. In June 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States announced its decision to prohibit the use of partially hydrogenated oils, which contain a large quantity of trans fatty acids, in three years’ time, and there have been moves by food manufacturers worldwide to reevaluate trans fatty acids. The Fuji Oil Group uses proprietary technologies such as interesterification that do not generate trans fatty acids during manufacturing and has commercialized low trans and non-trans fatty acid products for chocolate and margarine to provide delicious and healthy ingredients.

Soy Renaissance*

Due to the rising global population, a shortage of animal protein sources is expected within decades. The Fuji Oil Group considers soybeans to be a major protein source for the health of people and the planet, and has been pursuing their potential for 60 years. As part of the medium-to-long-term strategy, our group also advocates a Soy Renaissance to take a fresh look at the intrinsic value of soybeans and offer it to society.

*Soy Renaissance
Expanding the potential of soybeans in a range of dietary contexts by looking at them from all angles to provide delicious soy ingredients and foods. The name "Renaissance" means going back to the origins of soybeans to create new value from them.
Soymilk cream and low-fat soymilk products
Tiratisu (a tofu-based dessert similar to tiramisu that uses a cheese-like soymilk ingredient)
Tiratisu (a tofu-based dessert similar to tiramisu that uses a cheese-like soymilk ingredient)

Using the Ultra Soy Separation (USS) manufacturing method, the world’s first soybean separation and fractionation technology, we succeeded in separating soybeans into soymilk cream and low-fat soymilk in a manner similar to the separation method for raw milk. Soymilk cream has a full-bodied richness similar to fresh cream that is ideal for prepared and processed products, and is characterized by a refreshing aftertaste. Because it brings out the flavor of other ingredients and soup stock, it is suitable for use in Japanese cuisine. Low-fat soymilk contains many free amino acids that are components of umami, and we offer a lineup with a wide range of derivative products that include whipping cream and dressings. With these products, we are expanding the potential of soybeans as a food ingredient.

Soy meat (textured soy protein)
Mabodofu made with soy meat
Mabodofu made with soy meat

"Soy meat" is a product made by applying heat and pressure to induce the creation of fiber in defatted soybeans, with a texture similar to meat. By leveraging our proprietary technologies, we can produce soy meat with textures like those of chicken or beef to suit the application. Applications, which have mainly been for hamburgers and seafood-paste products, are diversifying and demand is increasing with the positive response to soy meat’s advanced functional characteristics, including its ability to remain juicy without hardening even when chilled. We plan to provide soy meat extensively worldwide, including for dietary demographics such as vegetarians, as a food ingredient that offers both deliciousness and functionality not available from meat.

Cheese-like soymilk ingredients
Cheese-like soymilk ingredients
Cheese-like soymilk ingredients

In response to a trend toward vegetarianism and health-consciousness, we created soybean ingredients with a cheese-like flavor (fermented soymilk foods). Adding lactobacillus we developed jointly with a European lactobacillus manufacturer to low-fat soymilk made with the USS manufacturing method resulted in a robust, rich flavor. In addition to cream cheese-type "Mame-mage," in FY 2016 we launched mascarpone cheese-type "Mame-mage mou" and semi-hard-type "Mame-mage Block." "Mame-mage mou" is used for soy tiramisu desserts. "Mame-mage Block" has been covered on television, and has gained a solid reputation at restaurants and other customers as a breakthrough new ingredient that can be cut and shredded.

Nutrition education project
Children making soymilk pudding
Children making soymilk pudding

Since FY 2014, the Fuji Oil Group has been conducting a nutrition education project in cooperation with the NPO After School, to convey the importance of food and the power of soybeans to children, who will lead the next generation. In FY 2016, we provided a total of 22 classes to teach 655 elementary school students about the power of soybeans to improve people’s health and save the world from food resource shortages, with two types of programs: soybean snacks (soymilk pudding) and a soybean workshop.

The Fuji Foundation for Protein Research
Public lecture held in Nagoya
Public lecture held in Nagoya

In 1979, we inaugurated the Research Committee of Soy Protein Nutrition to support the promotion of academic studies on soybean protein. Based on its activities over 18 years, we established the Fuji Foundation for Protein Research, operating under the jurisdiction of the former Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, in 1997. In 2012, it transitioned to being a public-interest foundation under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet Office, and has been carrying on and expanding operations. Aiming to stimulate wider academic research as well as popularization and use of soy protein, the foundation provides grants for a wide range of public research on topics including clinical research, nutrition, metabolism, food science, breeding and food culture, and announces the results in addition to holding public lectures and other events. The cumulative number of grants has exceeded 1,000 over the past 38 years. Soy protein food tasting meetings held in tandem with lectures for the general public have also been well received.

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