Rice roll rampage: Japanese food companies join forces to reduce waste amid consumer concerns

The Japanese government and food companies such as Suntory and Keishindo are joining forces to fight food waste by exploring technology and recycling opportunities, as well as focusing on seasonal production issues.

One such concern is the festive ehomaki sushi roll, which is popular for consumption in February, the last day of winter. Eating the whole roll as a whole in silence is traditionally believed to bring good luck for the whole year.

As such, many food companies and retailers nationwide have produced and marketed ehomaki over the years, but the uncontrolled amount of production has unfortunately resulted in large amounts of food wastage, first revealed by consumers noticing that many of these scrolls were neither purchased nor consumed.

“The seasonal issue of food waste due to the elimination of Ehomaki after Setsubun (the last day of winter) has become a hotly discussed topic on social media in recent years, [which has led the ministry] host an annual meeting [movement] to reduce this waste,Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said in an official statement.

‘At an impasse’: Japan’s alcohol sector voices concerns for industry growth after battered by new round of COVID-19 restrictions

The alcohol industry in Japan is concerned about the impacts of the country’s latest rounds of COVID-19 restrictions on the growth of the sector, with many companies in a game of flux and uncertainty and even large traditional breweries seeking to expand into broader sectors.

The government first placed 14 prefectures in Japan under a “near state of emergency” earlier this year in response to rising COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant, which led to the reinstatement of measures such as stopping alcohol service at an earlier time and banning large-scale events.

These measures were to be lifted on March 7, but were later extended to several major prefectures including Tokyo, Osaka and Hokkaido. It was Japan’s second implementation of a state of emergency and large-scale COVID-19-related lockdowns in the past year, with the peak of the strictest measures enforced between April and May 2021.

“During the emergency last year, the alcohol ban forced restaurants and bars to stop serving alcohol at 8 p.m. – this time it is 9 p.m., which is slightly softer,Lee Reeve, owner of local cider house inCiderJapan and an expert in the cider industry, said FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Co-branding collaboration: CRUST reveals new model to help large food companies benefit from upcycling

Singaporean upcycling products company CRUST has unveiled a new collaborative upcycling business model of working with leading food and drink brands to develop new co-branded products from their existing food waste.

CRUST is best known for creating its recycled beer made from leftover bread from bakeries and e-commerce platforms, and also recently soft-launched a line of recycled soft drinks CROP after various challenges in 2021, aiming for a full scale launch March 2022.

According to CRUST Group Founder and CEO Travin Singh, in addition to the company’s conventional business model of producing and selling its own recycled products, it is also adding a new business model which has been dubbed “Sustainable Unique Label” or SUL, which will see the company coming in as an R&D partner for other food and beverage companies to work on the development of unique recycled products.

“The target in particular will be large food companies that have a lot of leftover food waste from their production operations that they would typically donate or throw away, as currently most of them are either unaware or unable to recycle this waste,travin said FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Oral nutritional supplement intake increases body weight and BMI in older adults at risk of undernutrition – Meiji study

Supplementation with an oral nutritional supplement has been shown to increase body weight and body mass index in older people at risk of undernutrition.

That’s according to a 12-week clinical study conducted by Meiji and Kamakura Rehabilitation St. Therese Hospital in Japan.

The results of the study titled “The Effects of Oral Nutritional Supplements on the Nutritional Status and Body Composition of the Elderly” have been published in Japanese in The Journal of the Japan Home Nutrition Management Society.

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of oral nutritional supplements (ANS) on the nutritional status and body composition of older adults.

“The market for active enzymes is immeasurable”: Japanese Shinya Koso talks about digestive health and weight management trends

Leading Japanese supplement brand Shinya Koso believes the market for active enzyme products is immeasurable, driven by consumer concerns about digestive health and weight management.

Developed by renowned Japanese gastroenterologist Dr. Hiromi Shinya, Shinya Koso uses two main types of enzyme-active raw materials.

The first type is extracted by fermentation from 10 healthy grains traditionally eaten in Japan, such as sprouted brown rice, millet and Japanese millet.