Our research and development policy
This project will be socially implemented through a cycle of five social science challenges. We will then form a functional cycle to challenge new issues that emerge after social implementation to build a resilient food supply chain and reduce food loss.
1. Establishment of storage and distribution infrastructure technology to extend the shelf life of food products
In order to reduce food loss of perishable foods, it is essential to improve post-harvest processing, storage and distribution processes, but we believe that the most important technology is to quickly and quantitatively determine the value of food, including its function and freshness. Therefore, Our research division of the 1st is to develop state-of-the-art food metabolomics to extend the shelf life of foods by taking appropriate measures to adjust temperature, humidity, and other conditions.
Although reefer containers (temperature-controlled containers) are commonly used to take care of the temperature-induced deterioration of these perishable foods during the marine transportation process, appropriate quality control is not yet in place. Our research division of the 2nd will develop a technology to precisely monitor the deterioration and degradation of food functions in parallel with the temperature control inside the container. Specifically, we will install small wireless devices inside the container to build a smart data logger system and develop technology for continuous monitoring of environmental information data and quality deterioration data during the distribution process.
Member ：Tetsuya HIROSE (OU ・Engineering of Electronics・ Professor)
2. Development of basic technology system for food traceability
There are many types of food disguises, such as disguised food ingredients, disguised production and processing, disguised expiration dates, disguised halal, etc. The number of distributors and retailers who gain unfair profits by disguising food increases and also causes health problems for consumers. Although information on food products is stored in a database at the shipping stage, it is difficult to correct and solve the problem when food products are disguised as replacements or rewritten during the distribution process. Our research division of the 2nd involves the development of a smart data logger system to store food information in ultra-small wireless sensor tags that are inseparable from the food and attached to the food for distribution, thereby ensuring the authenticity and traceability of the food.
Member：Noriyuki MIURA（OU・ Engineering of information Science・ Professor）
3. Effective utilization of low-use plant and microbial resources
Our research division of the 3rd will develop new breeding technologies, such as genome editing technology, unused plants, such as orphan crops, for which modern breeding and cultivation methods have not yet been established. In addition, we are developing a way to recycle parts of food that are inevitably discarded in the food processing process by recycling them as culture media and beds for microorganisms, and cultivating insects, microorganisms, mushrooms, plants, and crops for reuse as food. We will develop reversible freeze-drying and restoring technology that enables the storage and distribution of marine products such as shrimp and other fresh foods imported from Southeast Asia, which must be frozen, transported, and thawed, while maintaining their characteristics.
4.Fostering human resources for food solutions through the integration of food culture and technology
In order to popularize new foodstuffs recycled from orphan crops and discarded foods, which is our research division of the 3rd, it is extremely important to build a social consensus in light of environmental issues. In other issues as well, no matter how excellent the science and technology to solve a problem is, if it is not accepted by society, its value cannot be utilized. In this project, we will develop a social enlightenment system to promote the rational acceptance of the technology, solve the problem from a bird’s eye view, and plan the analysis and feedback process assuming the emergence of new problems and the maintenance of the overall balance.
The reality is that consumption loss is often a selfish desire based on personal preferences and moods without scientific evidence, and that these personal food choices are often influenced by social and economic factors. Our research division of the 5th aims to raise social awareness of the modern food culture of consumers in the field of education and to develop human resources to increase incentives for ethical consumption by finding value in a more sustainable society.