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Center for Research on Food Palatability
Research Center for Food Taste Preferences

About the Center for Research on Food Palatability

Comprehensive Research Institute for Food and Agriculture was opened as the university’s auxiliary organization in April 2015, at the same time when the faculty of Agriculture was established, with the aim of promoting multidisciplinary, academic and international researches centering around the agricultural studies on food and agriculture. The Center for Research on Food Palatability was founded as this institute’s auxiliary center in order to study food taste preferences and commenced its research activities in full swing.

Organization

Director:
Toru Fushiki (Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University)
Deputy director:
Hanae Yamazaki (Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University)
Research associates:
Kengo Ishihara (Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University)
Masayuki Yamasaki (Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University)
Yuya Asami (Instructor, Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University)

Concept

The studies on food taste preferences are conducted under the concept of “It must taste good!” At the center, the researchers conduct studies in two groups; the Japanese cuisine research group and the food taste preference research group for the development of food products.

(1)Japanese cuisine research group
(study location: Ryukoku University Seminar House Tomoiki-So)

Experiments in the kitchen and educational activities to promote development of Japanese cuisine

Visiting researchers:
Yoshihiro Murata (Kikunoi), Masahiro Kurisu (Tankuma Kitamise),
Motokazu Nakamura (Isshi Souden Nakamura),
Takuji Takahashi (Kinobu), Yoshihiro Takahashi (Hyotei),
Mitsuru Saiki (Jikishinbou Saiki), Nobuhisa Yoshida (Shuhaku),
Hideki Shimoguchi (Chikurin at the Byodoin Omotesando),
Yoji Satake (Takeshigero),
Hiroshi Sokawa (Japanese Cuisine Department Chair, Taiwa Gakuen)

(2)Food taste preference research group for the development of food products
(study location: Ryukoku University Seta Campus Building No. 9)

Collaborative researches on the preferences of food taste conducted with outside organizations and researchers

Visiting researchers:
Takahiko Amitsuka (T. Hasegawa Co., Ltd.)
Kumiko Nakano (Food Art Co., Ltd.)
Hiroya Kawasaki (Ajinomoto Co., Inc.)
Ryo Nakamura (Asahi-Shuzo Sake Brewing Co., Ltd.)
Mari (Tamaki ) Nagatomi (House Foods Corporation)
Takahiro Kamoi (House Foods Group Inc.)
Shintaro Shimizu (House Foods Corporation)
Morihiro Aoyagi (House Foods Group Inc.)
Shohei Koyama (Kansou Co., Ltd.)

Japanese Cuisine Research Group Study Overview

The Japanese cuisine research group conducts studies and educational activities for the purpose of promoting development of Japanese cuisine.

In the Japanese cuisine research group of the Center for Research on Food Palatability, Ryukoku University’s researchers and the culinarians in Kyoto play a central role in conducting studies on the deliciousness and taste preferences of Japanese cuisine. Using the kitchen of the center (at Tomoiki-so) and the laboratory of the university, culinarians and researchers carry out experiments and have discussions to scientifically examine various subjects that constitute the culinary arts, with a main purpose of establishing a foundation for the creation of delicious Japanese cuisine.

This endeavor with the university researchers and culinarians was originally started in 2009 in Kyoto, and most of the researchers and culinarians who participate in this research group are members of the Japan Society for Innovative cuisine Project (based at Kyoto University until 2014). The culinarians with a scientific background which they obtained through participating in the project are expected to be able to make suggestions for creating Japanese cuisine of the next generation from the standpoints of deliciousness and taste preferences while conducting researches as visiting researchers of the Japanese cuisine research group.

The Japan Society for Innovative cuisine (Chair, Dr. Yamazaki), Japanese Culinary Academy (Director, Dr. Fushiki), restaurants of Kyoto-style cuisine, The Japan Society for Spice and Herb Research Head Office (Chair, Dr. Fushiki, registered head office) are expected to be the collaborators.

Food taste preference research group for the development of food products Study overview

Although the objective methods to evaluate deliciousness have been sought after in the various fields of food industry, no concrete method has been established. At this center, objective evaluations of some food products and cooking ingredients will be made by creating a coordinate axis for the deliciousness.

The food products to be studied are;

  • By systematically matching dried kelp from the different sea areas and dried bonito flakes from the different ports and production areas, the group aims to find a pair that produces the most delicious bonito & kombu-seaweed soup stock, which is the basis of the taste of Japanese cuisine. The group takes full advantage of the sensibility of member chefs specializing in Japanese cuisine as well as the laboratory of the flavoring agents manufacturer and the analytical technologies of the food manufacturers through the collaborative research projects.

    The components of the taste and aroma of the most delicious stock are thoroughly investigated using a method such as the multiple regression analysis in order to extract elements contributing to the deliciousness. Then, the factors to achieve the deliciousness will be determined and a scoring system (a system to evaluate deliciousness from the analytical values) will be established. This study to create a coordinate axis of a basic Dashi (soup stock) for the increasingly globalizing Japanese cuisine has already been started.

  • Using the same methods mentioned above, the group will determine the gold standard (for the deliciousness) for certain foods and establish a system to objectively evaluate the deliciousness. The actual foods and agricultural and fishery products to be studied will be chosen after consulting the producers and the makers who participate in the studies. Food products such as the instant curry roux and brand vegetables are among the list of prospective study subjects. At this center, multiple research projects are conducted simultaneously in collaboration with the specialized food makers and producers. The research collaborators participate in the studies as visiting researchers.

  • In order to support the subjective evaluation until an objective evaluation method is established, the group will use the measuring technique with the cerebral near-infrared absorption to measure the volume of blood flow to the salivary gland and the evaluation method by dissolution and integration of components of deliciousness developed by Dr. Fushiki, et al at Kyoto University.

The goal of the center is to become a research institution that can contribute to creating deliciousness of food, the biggest added-value to the culinary arts, and respond to the society’s call, as a center where for the first time ever in the world deliciousness of food is objectively and visibly evaluated through the expected development of a deliciousness-evaluation system for many cooking ingredients, foods and agricultural products, using the techniques mentioned above.

Research Outcome

Pagetop