Food Research Institute, NARO

Postharvest Science and Technology Unit

People in Japan expect higher-level, higher-quality food in terms of freshness, safety, and healthfulness. In order to respond to such needs regarding food distribution, our laboratory is investigating various methods related to packaging, storing and distributing food and agricultural products.

Development of three-dimensional transport simulation method

Instead of the existing one-dimensional vibration test method, we are developing a three-dimensional method for designing cushioning packages to prevent damage from transportation vibration. We are also investigating a method to use time-waveforms actual real time vibration and stationary waves sinusoidal vibration, in addition to the JIS-recommended PSD wave form, as well as a method to reduce the testing time

Better retention of nutrition and function of fruits/vegetables

We are examining how various conditions for the distribution, processing, and cooking affect the nutrition and function of fruits and vegetables, and how to better retain their nutrition and function.

Development of packaging materials to prevent damage to fruits/vegetables during distribution

We design the most suitable packaging methods for strawberries, peaches, and other fruits/vegetables that are likely to be damaged by transport vibration, based on truck vibration analysis data.

Evaluation of properties of packaging materials

Since the primary function of a packaging material is protection, we design packaging that prevents the occurrence of pinholes, heat-seal defects, and other problems.

Development of sterilization technique

For food safety, sterilization technique is very important. We developed new effective methods for Brussel sprouts and spices.

Analysis of physical properties of vegetables, fruits and processed foods by electrical and mechanical measurements

Physical properties are important factors of vegetable, fruit and processed food qualities. We study monitoring of changes in cell structure and texture of vegetables and fruits during heating, drying and storage by electrical or mechanical measurements. We are planning to develop new methods for analyzing the physical properties using electrical and mechanical approaches. These results are beneficial for distribution of high quality vegetable and fruit products.

Unit Leader

Masayasu NAGATA
Research Topic: Post-harvest biology & technology

Unit Members

Name Position Research Topics
Nobutaka NAKAMURA Principal Researcher Food engineering
Hiroaki Kitazawa Senior Researcher Food packaging & horticultural science
Takashi WATANABE Researcher Postharvest Engineering, Electrochemical Impedance, Texture

Research Publications

Please refer to the research map of each researcher for their publications