- 1974: Born in Tochigi Prefecture
- Graduated from Department of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo; completed the master's course and doctoral course of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tokyo. Visiting Fellow at Catholic School of Leuven in Belgium (Research Fellowship for Young Scientists, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science).
- February 2005: Fellow at National Food Research Institute
- March 2002: PhD (Agricultural Science), University of Tokyo
Content of current research
Superheated steam has recently attracted attention as a heating medium for food processing. Applications of superheated steam to cooking, drying, burning, and sterilization are being actively investigated. Superheated steam is characterized by good thermal conductivity with water condensation, the presence of an inversion-point temperature where the drying speed becomes faster than that of hot air, high radiant heat transmission, and hypoxic ambience. Therefore, this technology will increasingly be utilized in the food processing industry. The consortium of the Bio-Oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution, in which I participate, developed an apparatus to prepare a new superheated medium (aquagas) consisting of superheated steam and high-temperature micro droplets, with an aim to expand the utilization of superheated steam. It is now known that aquagas quickly elevates the surface temperature of cold food products, prevents dehydration of food, and improves yield of food products.
It was also confirmed that aquagas can effectively sterilize fresh vegetables without impairing their texture and flavor. Further, when a potato is pretreated with aquagas, a dish made with this potato has good flavor and longer shelf-life, according to the test results. We are currently examining aquagas to elucidate its heat property and the behavior of the micro droplets in the superheated steam, because this information is required in designing an aquagas apparatus and optimizing the food manufacturing process.
Content of past research
- Determination of sanitation conditions for agricultural products by measuring thermal diffusion coefficient with flash method and estimating thermomigration in agricultural products
- NMR analysis of the dynamic state of water in living plants and microscopic elucidation of water migration in cells/tissues
- Elucidation of changes in the mechanical properties of cell membranes in harvested agricultural products
- Development of a method to determine a cell membrane water permeation coefficient, and elucidation of time-course change of the cell membrane water permeation coefficient in harvested farm products
- Development of an automated fruit harvesting machine and a machine for sorting fruit on the tree, using machine vision
- Determination of inner quality of fruit by laser scatter, and development of laser scattered light analysis method using Monte Carlo Method
Academic society memberships
- Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology
- Society for Antibacterial and Antifungal Agents, Japan
- Japanese Society of Agricultural Machinery
- Society of Instrument and Control Engineers
- American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
- Japan Society for Food Engineering
Research results (main publications)
- S. Yamanaka, I. Sotome, M. Tsuda, M. Takenaka, Y. Ogasawara, Y. Nadate, S. Isobe: Evaluation of sterilizing effect of superheated steam with micro droplets, and application to food cooking process. Journal of Society for Antibacterial and Antifungal Agents, Japan 35(6), 341-439, 2007
- Fa-De Li, Xiuqu Li, Itaru Sotome, Seiichiro Isobe. 2007. Effect of Different Electric Fields on Temperature Rise, Energy Efficiency ratio, and Solids Content During Electro-Osmotic Dewatering of Tofu Residue (Okara). Report of National Food Research Institute 71: 15-26.
- S. Ohshita, I. Sotome, S. Kuroki: Changes in water permeability and intercellular space structure in harvested vegetables/fruit. Journal of Japan Society of Thermophysical Properties 20(4), 193-202, 2006
- S. Isobe, I. Sotome, M. Takenaka: Development of technology for preparing high-quality multi-purpose cooking ingredients using aquagas. Journal of Society for Antibacterial and Antifungal Agents, Japan, 20(4), 208-215, 2006
- I. Sotome, K. Suzuki, S. Koseki, F. Sakamoto, M. Takenaka, Y. Ogasawara, Y. Nadate, S. Isobe: Primary processing of potatoes using superheated steam with micro droplets. Journal of Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology 53(9), 451-458, 2006
- Seiichi Oshita, Takao Fukumoto, Yu Nakai, Itaru Sotome, Daisuke Ajiro, Hidenori Tsuchiya, Shinichiro Kuroki, Yoshinori Kawagoe, Yoshio Makino. 2006. Dynamic State of Water and Cell Membrane Permeability of Spinach Leaf during Storage. Cryobiology and Cryotechnology 52(1): 11-16.
- Marek Hryniewicz, Itaru Sotome, Peter Snoex, Jan Anthonis, Herman Ramon, Josse De Baerdemaeker. 2006. Perspective of Stereovision Head Implementation in Sustainable Agriculture for Fruit Surface Investigation. Problemy In?ynierii Rolniczej 1/2006: 119-125.
- I. Sotome, S. Sakamoto, M. Takenaka, Y. Ogasawara, Y. Nadate, S. Isobe: Heat transmission/drying properties of superheated steam with micro droplets. Journal of Japan Society for Food Engineering 6(4), 229-236, 2005
- I. Sotome, S. Koseki, K. Suzuki, S. Isobe, S. Yamanaka, Y. Ogasawara, Y. Nadate: High-quality sterilization of vegetables by superheated steam with micro droplets. Journal of Antibacterial and Antifungal Agents, Japan 33(10), 523-530, 2005
- Itaru Sotome, Josse De Baerdemaeker, Seiichi Oshita and Yoshinori Kawagoe. 2005. Water permeability changes of the cell membrane as a function of time. Acta Horticulturae 682: 1117-1124.
- Marek Hryniewicz, Itaru Sotome, Jan Anthonis, Herman Ramon and Josse De Baerdemaeker. 2005. 3D Surface Modeling with Stereovision. Acta Horticulturae 674: 561-565.
- Itaru Sotome, Marek Hryniewicz, Jan Anthonis, Herman Ramon and Josse De Baerdemaeker. 2005. Laser Scattering and Surface Model in Fruit Quality Research. Acta Horticulturae 674: 605-611.
- Itaru Sotome, Seiichi Oshita, Yoshinori Kawagoe, Toru Torii and Yasuhisa Seo. 2004. Measurement of Membrane Hydraulic Conductivity by a Newly Developed Method. Transactions of the ASAE 47(4): 1207-1213.
- Shinichiro Kuroki, Seiichi Oshita, Itaru Sotome, Yoshinori Kawagoe and Yasuhisa Seo. 2004. Visualization of 3-D network of gas-filled intercellular spaces in cucumber fruit after harvest. Postharvest Biology and Technology 33(3): 255-262.
- H. Tsuchiya, S. Ohshita, Y. Kawagoe, I. Sotome, Y. Seo: Temperature measurement of vacuum-cooled vegetables/fruit by thermal image. Journal of Japanese Society of Agricultural Machinery 65(4), 124-131, 2003
- I. Sotome, S. Ohshita, Y. Seo, Y. Kawagoe, T. Torii: Development of the method to determine cell membrane water permeability coefficient, using two-layer flow in micro channels. Journal of Japanese Society of Agricultural Machinery 65(3), 86-92, 2003
- I. Sotome, S. Ohshita, Y. Seo, Y. Kawagoe: Basic research on storage of leaf vegetables - experiment using model samples. Journal of Japanese Society of Agricultural Machinery 63(5), 86-91, 2001
- Tomoyuki Yoshino, Itaru Sotome, Toshio Ohtani, Seiichiro Isobe, Sei-ichi Oshita, and Takaaki Maekawa. 2000. Observations of xenon gas-treated barley cells in solution by atomic force microscopy. Journal of Electron Microscopy 49: 483-486.