Food Research Institute, NARO


Director The Food Research Institute, NARO (NFRI) was first established as the Rice Utilization Institute within the government's Bureau of Rice in 1934. Since then, it operated for approximately seventy years as a national research institute affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). In April 2001, the NFRI changed its status to an independent administrative corporation and then in April 2006, it once again changed its status to become one of the internal institutes of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO). From April 2016, NFRI has been reorganized as a research department of NARO and renamed as "Food Research Institute, NARO" abbreviated as NFRI to play a greater role in the region of food science and technology in Japan.

NARO set the following four major research programs for the 4th Mid-long term Plan: (1) Strengthening of management power and strengthening of the production site; (2) Realization of strong agriculture and the creation of new industries; (3) Ensuring the safety and reliability and adding high values for agricultural products and food; and (4) Solving environmental problems and utilization of local resources. Among these research programs, NFRI is primarily engaged in the Research Program (3) aimed at ensuring the food safety and securing consumer trust, adding high values to food, and development of technology to ensure food reliability from the production site to the utilization. As to Research Program (4), we perform functional maintenance and improvement of production base, and development of technology for countermeasures to radioactive materials and management of local resources. In particular, we hope to provide a safe and rich diet to the public, adequate scientific information related to food, contributing to the administrative measures relating to food, and plays a major role for the sound development of Japanese food industry. NFRI has implemented research from the fundamental science related to food to the wide range technologies leading to the application. Specifically, the five research divisions conduct research not only on the development of basic and cutting edge technology, but also to meet the needs of ever changing society, focusing mainly on the following three research fields: (1) Development of technology for elucidation, utilization and evaluation of agricultural products and food functions; (2) Development of distribution and processing technology aimed at enhancement of quality of agricultural products and maintenance of functionality; and (3) Development of technology to ensure safety and reliability of agricultural products and food.

NFRI is committed to make use of the advantages as NARO's internal institute to further strengthen collaborations with agricultural research and step up the sharing of information. We will regard the consumers, administrative departments and bureaus, agriculture and food industry as beneficiaries, and vigorously engage in basic and fundamental research that include the scientific analysis of food and health, the securing of food safety and the development of innovative distribution and processing technologies, and the development of advanced usage methods of bio-functions. At the same time, we will focus our efforts on basic and cutting-edge researches such as the cognitive science of food, advanced processing technologies, nanotechnologies, and advanced analytical technologies. We will also strive to release easy-to-understand information through our website and other vehicles.

Our institute will not only establish and bolster internal governance and compliance with laws and regulations while verifying the need and effectiveness of our business activities from the people's perspective, but also aim at maximizing R&D outcomes through efficient management and dissemination of our achievements to society. As an institute that is open to the public and adhere to internationalization, we promote collaborations with researchers from Japan and overseas. Going forward, we will continue to make utmost efforts so that we may become an even more open and vigorous research institution with the goal of becoming a hub for our country's innovation in the food industry, academia and government projects, and a worldwide center that spearheads food research. Towards this goal, we are hoping for continued assistance and support.

Food Research Institute, NARO