Contributing to a world of health through delicious food
The growth of overseas operations began just a few years after our founding, with the opening of our New York office in 1917. International growth continued throughout the following century, with new facilities in a growing number of countries, expansion into new fields beyond the boundaries of food and cuisine, and an increasing contribution to health and wellness in many parts of the world.
Offering the most delicious seasoning product in each country
Product development is performed at strategic locations around the world to provide seasonings and processed foods in harmony with local cultures, cuisines, and dining customs. Product development and application centers are located in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, in Europe and North America, and in Brazil, Peru, and other parts of the world. These centers perform timely, strategic on-site development, with active Group support from Japan for product development, and for education and training.
Providing solutions for worldwide nutritional needs
Our materials and technologies are conceived and applied not only to enhance the deliciousness of foods but also to improve their nutritional value. In addition, we strive to help solve problems of malnutrition, both overnutrition in developed countries and undernutrition in developing countries. Research and development are in progress on innovative technologies to meet these needs.
Providing solutions for over-nutrition in advanced countries
Reduction of sugar intake by using new sweeteners
The world's first successful commercial operations for the production of aspartame from two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, were developed by the Ajinomoto Group. The intense sweetening effect of aspartame is known around the world, and its safety is recognized in more than 125 countries and regions. It is used in more than 5,000 products. Our share of the world market for aspartame is nearly 50%. A new sweetener, which we have named Advantame, has more recently been developed by the Ajinomoto Group and has been approved as a food additive in Japan, Europe, and America. Advantame is 20,000 to 40,000 times as sweet as sugar, and it brings increased value to a wide range of foods and beverages, including higher taste quality and lower production cost.
The intense sweetening effect can substantially reduce sugar and caloric intake, with no loss in sweetness. Blending technologies and recipes are currently being developed for a growing range of products optimized to take advantage of the sweetening effect and thus reduce the sugar content of processed foods.
More detailed information page
Aspartame—Natural Sweetness and Low in Calories
The promise of kokumi for delicious low-fat cuisine
The focus of our latest receptor research is kokumi. "Koku" is a word used by chefs of Japanese cuisine to express the richness and body of a dish. We have identified the substances that evoke koku, and call the function "kokumi". This function is developed during maturation, fermentation, and prolonged simmering or stewing of food. In sensory terms, we know that kokumi compounds modify basic tastes, deepening and expanding their taste profiles. It is also now becoming clear that kokumi compounds improve the sensory perception of fats and oils. Kokumi thus holds promise as a new source of health-related value in food.
MSG helps low-salt diets
Low-salt diets are generally not tasty and thus are difficult to maintain and tend to induce stress. In joint research with Jumonji University, we have found that the stress of a low-salt diet can be reduced using the umami substance MSG (monosodium glutamate). The presentation of this finding at the 2015 Asian Congress of Nutrition showed that proper use of MSG can provide stress-free low-salt diets.