Food Research Institute, NARO


The Food Research Institute, NARO (NFRI) aims to promote a healthy and rich diet for consumers and to address the country's food supply issues through scientific analysis on food and health, development of technology to ensure the safety of food, and development of innovative distribution and processing technologies.


Discovery of new lipoproteins that can cause atherosclerosis

The research group of Dr. Yoko Takahashi (Division of Food Function Research, NFRI) in collaboration with Dr. Tomokazu Konishi of Akita Prefectural University revealed the lipoproteins that could be the cause of atherosclerosis, a disease due to the accumulation of plaque and fibrous cap in the arteries. Atherosclerosis accounts for most of the human deaths next to cancer. A new class of previously unrecognized lipoprotein called "LAC" has been discovered and this lipoprotein forms complexes of specific classes of LDL and antiprotease that may lead to progression of atheroma. Analysis showed that this lipoprotein was detected as part of the so-called HDL good cholesterol. Read more.

Development of gluten-free 100% rice flour bread

The Food Research Institute, NARO (NFRI) in collaboration with Hiroshima University has developed a technology to manufacture gluten-free 100% rice bread 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 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.

Corporate Number 7050005005207