Mitsui & Co.'s affiliate, Mitsui Norin Co., Ltd., a leader in Japan's black tea industry, on September 1, 2017 launched a Joint Next Generation Food Development R&D Program with Osaka University, one of Japan's most recognized academic institutions.
The concept of the joint R&D program is to:
1. Develop powderization technology to enhance the fusibility and absorbability of various health ingredients such as tea, herbs, Chinese herbs, etc.
2. Shorten product launch lead time by involving specialists from various fields, from intellectual property and product planning to marketing
3. Incorporate ADMET (*), drug efficacy evaluations and clinical trials to assure food safety
4. Contribute to regional activation by discovering new health ingredients both within and outside of Japan
5. Create hit and lead compound from natural ingredients to enable development of next generation health foods, functional beverages and cosmetics
6. Pursue different application methods such as spraying, in addition to eating, drinking, and administering.
Through the above program, Mitsui Norin is aiming to develop functional ingredients with high marketability and to incubate R&D specialists and pharmacists, helping realize longer, healthier lives.
(*) ADMET refers to Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion, and Toxicity, which indicates all the processes from intake to egestion of drug compounds.