The Institute of Food Research, NARO (NFRI) conducts a broad range of food research from basic to applied, in order to realize a safe and healthy dietary life, provide appropriate scientific information on foods to the public, and contribute to the governmental policymaking for foods and development of the food industry.
Specifically, we conduct not only basic research and state-of-the-art technological development but also research that meets the ever-changing social needs, focusing on the following 3 research areas, with the mutual cooperation of the 3 research divisions.
  • Study on the three functionalities of agricultural products and foods (nutritional functionality, palatability and physiological functionality) and the development of technology for their effective utilization.
  • Development of technologies to ensure the safety, credibility and quality of agricultural products and foods.
  • Development of distribution and processing technologies with the aim to maintain or improve the quality and functionality of agricultural products.


Cabbage core is renewed to a new material

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has found that it is possible to create crunchy paste-like food by using cabbage core that have been dried and pulverized to adjust the size of the grains and has confirmed the conditions under which it can be created using a 3D food printer. By this not only we can take in the nutrients and functional ingredients of the cabbage core, which is a discarded part, but also by utilizing the firmness as a new means of expression of texture, we can expect to reduce food loss that occurs when producing cut vegetables.. Read more

Renewable resources help make roads stronger!

The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization(NARO) has developed the starch-based asphalt modifier C-AG. C-AG disperses fibrously in asphalt, improves the flow resistance of asphalt and helps in prolonging the road life. By means of using this newly developed asphalt modifier, energy consumption related to modified asphalt production and road construction is lower when compared to conventional asphalt modifiers, and Greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions can be expected to be reduced. Read more

New food material by blending nata de coco and β-glucan

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has developed a new food material (Nata puree) by blending and crushing nata de coco and (1-3) (1-4) -β-glucan contained in barley. Nata puree adds new physical properties and processing properties to powders derived from agricultural products and improves the binding capacity and dispersibility of paste foods. This technology expands the scope of application of unused resources such as surplus and non-standard agricultural products to 3D printed foods, etc., and contributes to the reduction of food loss. Read more

Development of 100% gluten-free rice flour bread

The Institute of Food Research, NARO (NFRI) in collaboration with Hiroshima University has developed a technology to manufacture 100% gluten-free rice read from basic ingredients such as rice flour, water, dry yeast, sugar, salt and butter, without using any additives or special equipment. The use of rice flour with less starch damage and devising the fermentation and baking processes facilitated bead-making with a specific volume of 4 mL/g or more which is comparable in consistency and volume to traditional wheat bread. This 100% gluten-free rice bread is suitable to people with wheat allergy or celiac disease, and is also expected to contribute in expanding domestic rice consumption. Read more.    Press release link

Onion recipe collection

As part of a research project for the new demand and creation of agricultural products supported a grant from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), the NFRI has released an onion recipe book. Onions have been found to contain polyphenolic flavonoid compounds, particularly quercetin which exhibit antihypertensive effects on humans, and a provides a countermeasure against metabolic syndrome. Part of the study focuses on processing methods to trace the changes in the functional ingredients during cooking in order to find a cooking method that can be used for a more efficient intake of quercetin. Additionally, NFRI has collaborated with Sapporo Medical University and Soubetsu town in Hokkaido to determine the daily quercetin intake from foods available in market. As part of these initiative, a recipe collection for onion was released containing various ways of maximizing the health components of onion. The recipe is currently available in Japanese only. Link to the recipe book here