News Release



New Invention in the Production Method of Soy Polysaccharide Wins Special Prize at National Invention Awards


It was announced that a new invention in the production method of Soya Fibe (water-soluble soy polysaccharides), the main product of Fuji Oil Co., LTD's New Materials/Ingredients Division, won the 2001 special prize at the National Invention Awards, titled "The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Captains of Industry Invention Award".

Though separation and extraction was difficult until now, this invention allows high yield and purity of water-soluble soy polysaccharides from proteins in items such as okara and the like, with a special extraction process conducted under mildly acidic, high temperature conditions.

The National Inventors Award has been run by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation Association since 1933 with the support of government and business organizations to encourage invention, improve science technology, and promote industry. Nine special prizes, invention merit prizes and so on are chosen including the Imperial Invention Prize and Prime Ministers Prize. Nowadays, with all the patents and inventions in the electronics and IT related fields it is extremely unusual for a food related invention to win a special prize. This is the second time for our company to win in a National Invention Award, following our invention on "Abura-age" producted from soy protein in 1988.

Okara, which is a by-product of tofu and isolated soy protein production, is abundant in dietary fiber and protein and yet has been poorly made use of in the food industry around the world.
This invention allows the easy extraction of viable water soluble soy polysaccharides from okara and the resultant Soya Fibe can be used not just as a dietary fiber but is known to have uses in a wide variety of foods such as a stabilizer in acidic milk drinks, preventing clumping in noodle and rice dishes, and improving rice yield when cooking. In addition, it has bacteriostatic effects and can be used in coating. Also, outside the food industry, it can be used as a raw material in other fields of industry such as a cement admixture, a cleaner in printing, and so on.

The award ceremony will take place at the Prince Hotel in Tokyo on 14th of June at 3.00 p.m.
The inventors are Hitoshi Furuta, Hirokazu Maeda, Chiemi Nakamura (maiden name Takei), Kazunobu Tsumura, and Hiroyuki Mori.

Fuji Oil Co., LTD. will continue its pursuit of research and development and is regularly found in the top three for numbers of items patented in the foods division in Japan. Receiving this prize however, shows that we will be recognized not only for the number of items we have, but also for their impeccable quality.