Food Research Institute, NARO

Jun Watanabe

Job title

  • Senior Researcher, Functional Food Factor Laboratory, Food Function Division


  • 2001: PhD, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University. 
    Research Fellowship at Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
    Special Assistant Professor at Hokkaido University
  • April 2008: Current position


  • Functional food science
  • PhD of agriculture

Research themes

 1) Establishment of integrative evaluation methods for antioxidant activity
 2) Analysis of the effects of antioxidant ingredients in the body
 3) Analysis of the effects of nano-scale food materials in the body

Recent publications

  • Watanabe, J., Nishimukai, M., Taguchi, H., Senoura, T., Hamada, S., Matsui, H., Yamamoto, T., Wasaki, J., Hara, H., and Ito, S.: Prebiotic properties of epilactose. Journal of Dairy Science, in press.
  • Watanabe, J., Sasajima, N., Aramaki, A., and Sonoyama, K.: Consumption of fructo-oligosaccharide reduces 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene-induced contact hypersensitivity in mice. British Journal of Nutrition, 100(2), 339-346 (2008).
  • Nishimukai, M., Watanabe, J., Taguchi, H., Senoura, T., Hamada, S., Matsui, H., Yamamoto, T., Wasaki, J., Hara, H., and Ito, S.: Effects of epilactose on calcium absorption and serum lipid metabolism in rats. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, in press.
  • Taguchi, H., Senoura, T., Hamada, S., Matsui, H., Kobayashi, Y., Watanabe, J., Wasaki, J., and Ito, S.: Cloning and sequencing of the gene for cellobiose 2-epimerase form a ruminal strain of Eubacterium cellulosolvens. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 287(1), 34-40 (2008).
  • Ito, S., Taguchi, H., Hamada, S., Kawauchi, S., Ito, H., Senoura, T., Watanabe, J., Nishimukai, M., Ito, S., and Matsui, H. Enzymatic properties of cellobiose 2-epimerase from Ruminococcus albus and the synthesis of rare oligosaccharides by the enzyme. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 79(3), 433-441 (2008).
  • Fujiwara, R., Watanabe, J., and Sonoyama, K.: Assessing changes in composition of intestinal microbiota in neonatal BALB/c mice through cluster analysis of molecular markers. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(6), 1174-1177 (2008).
  • Matsuda, M., Otsuka, Y., Jin, S., Wasaki, J., Watanabe, J., Watanabe, T., and Osaki, M.: Biotransformation of (+)-catechin into taxifolin by a two-step oxidation: primary stage of (+)-catechin metabolism by a novel (+)-catechin-degrading bacteria, Burkholderia sp. KTC-1, isolated from tropical peat. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 366(2), 414-419 (2008).
  • Ito, S., Hamada, S., Yamaguchi, K., Umene, S., Ito, H., Matsui, H., Ozawa, T., Taguchi, H., Watanabe, J., Wasaki, J., and Ito, S.: Cloning and sequencing of the cellobiose 2-epimerase gene from an obligatory anaerobe, Ruminococcus albus. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 360(3), 640-645 (2007).
  • Dinoto, A., Marques, T. M., Sakamoto, K., Fukiya, S., Watanabe, J., Ito, S., and Yokota, A.: Population dynamics of Bifodobacterium species in human feces during raffinose administration monitored by FISH-flow cytometry. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 72(12), 7739-7747 (2006).
  • Yamaguchi, N., Sugita, R., Miki, A., Takemura, N., Kawabata, J., Watanabe, J., and Sonoyama, K.: Gastrointestinal Candida colonisation promotes sensitization against food antigens by affecting mucosal barrier in mice. Gut, 55(7), 954-960 (2006).


  • Inhibitor for gastrointestinal permeation of allergen. Inhibitor complex for gastrointestinal permeation of allergen. Food materials containing inhibitor or inhibitor complex for gastrointestinal permeation of allergen and method of prevention/treatment: Patent No. 4002973
  • Method of extracting acteoside: Patent No. 3925828
  • Method of decreasing allergen in wheat, and low-allergen wheat: Patent No. 3302872
  • New polypeptide with epimerase activity and its application: PCT/JP2007/001253

Academic society memberships

  • Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry
  • Japanese Society of Nutrition and Food Science
  • Japanese Association for Food Immunology