Protein is an essential nutrient, and supply is expected to come under increasing pressure as demand expands in step with world population growth.
As one of Japan’s biggest suppliers of protein, the NH Foods Group is creating and providing a wide range of protein intake options, embracing unconventional ideas to expand the potential of protein as a force for living.
Expansion of Plant-Based Protein Products
As diets become more diverse, there is growing need for a wider selection of protein sources. We have been developing products using soy, an ingredient that is rich in protein, sometimes referred to as “field-grown meat.”
We offer a wide range of processed foods, such as fried chicken and hamburgers, as well as ham, sausage, etc., as consumer products for retail stores and commercial products for restaurants and convenience stores.
In addition to Japan, we also export our products overseas, where there is a large need for plant-based products.
Cultured Meat Research
With demand for meat growing worldwide, we are developing technologies that use cultured animal cells to manufacture food with the aim of providing a stable supply of animal protein into the future.
As part of this effort, since 2019, we have been conducting joint research on cultured meat with IntegriCulture Inc., a startup company engaged in animal cell culture.
Additionally, the NH Foods Ltd. Research and Development Center is tackling technological issues including culturing methods and cell quality to culture cells more efficiently.
In October 2022, we announced that we had succeeded in cultivating bovine and chicken cells by replacing the main components of the “culture medium” required for culturing cultured meat cells with those derived from commonly distributed foodstuffs, instead of those derived from animals (serum) that had been used up to now. This success has made it possible to replace animal serum, which accounts for a large proportion of the cost of the culture medium, with a food that can be procured cheaply and stably, furthering progress toward the social implementation of cultured meat in the future.