Many industrialized countries, including Japan, are entering the stage of an aging society. While the average life expectancy continues to increase, there is a growing interest in not just increasing the average life expectancy, but also how to extend what is called “healthy life expectancy.” The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's “Healthy Japan 21 (2nd stage)” strategy calls for the extension of healthy life expectancy as its first basic direction, and primary prevention—the prevention of diseases before they occur—is of crucial importance to achieving this.
As a food company, the Nissui Group has a responsibility to deliver health to everyone through food. We are committed to research and development of healthy ingredients and products that make use of the bounty of the sea, and contribute to solving a variety of challenges when it comes to health.
The Nissui Group states as follows in its Declaration on Action of Sustainability: “We utilize bounty of the sea and provide the delights of foods and the rich and healthy lives through the innovation.” Based on this approach, we will take advantage of our unique technology and bring health to people around the world from sustainable marine resources.
The Nissui Group has set the resolution of health issues as one of its long-term priority management themes until 2030. We will launch projects in-house and seek to expand Nissui products in the field of health.
1. Initiatives Linked to Targets of the “Healthy Japan 21 (2nd stage)” Strategy
<EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)>
EPA is a type of n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acid found abundantly in the fat of fish, and is an essential fatty acid that the body cannot easily produce. Using our own food processing technology, Nissui has developed fish sausages and other healthy products that contain EPA and other functional ingredients derived from fish, which we then offer to our customers. In addition, Nissui contributed to the development of the world's first EPA pharmaceuticals (therapeutic agents for hyperlipidemia and arteriosclerosis obliterans) through joint research with Chiba University School of Medicine since the 1980s and with Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Currently, Nissui is responsible for supplying raw materials for high-purity EPA pharmaceutical products.
Excessive sodium intake raises the risk of diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and stomach cancer. Since processed marine food are associated with high salt content, we have started basic research on aroma and taste. We are working on the development and practical application of ingredients that provide a strong salty taste and methods for manufacturing products that do not lose their flavor despite a reduction in the sodium content.
<DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)>
DHA, like EPA, is a type of n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acid found abundantly in the fat of fish, and is an essential fatty acid that is not readily produced by the body. It is found in abundance in the human brain and in the nervous system, and is considered to be a particularly important nutrient for children during their developmental stages. At Nissui, we utilize DHA as a raw material for infant formula and also provide DHA drinks that are easy for children to drink.
<Alaska pollock fast muscle protein>
One health issue faced by an aging society is the problem of sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass due to aging, and frailty - a decline in physical function. Our research on the fast-twitch muscle protein found in Alaska pollock has shown that eating pollock protein increases muscle mass and strength, and we are developing products that use these ingredients.
<DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)>
Decline in cognitive function is also a challenge for an increasingly aging society. DHA has been reported to have a positive effect on the maintenance of cognitive functions, and Nissui has developed a DHA-based drink that takes advantage of this feature. By utilizing the technology we have developed to suppress the odor of fish oil and the processing technology to suppress the progress of oxidation, we have created a product that is easy to incorporate into daily life.
2. Other Initiatives
In response to the diversification of attitudes toward food and the growing interest in health, processed foods that replace livestock meat with plant-based ingredients are gaining attention. Nissui has launched a series of products using its proprietary soybean meat, “VEGETABLE MEAT,” and is actively working to make it an option for customers who want to choose a vegetarian diet.
The Nissui Group states in Article 1-7 of its “Quality Assurance Code” that: “Information about the origin and source of the raw materials, allergenic substances, nutritional components, and production processes etc. shall be provided correctly and clearly to the consumers.”
Furthermore, we have established a “Basic Policy” within the “Standard of labeling” in the “Quality Assurance Standards.” The “Standard of labeling” also sets various other standards for labeling, including product names, product descriptions, bulk labeling, nutritional information labeling, and allergy labeling.
In addition, the Ethical Behavior Standards states in the section entitled “Compliance with the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations” that: “We will comply with legal requirements when offering goods, money, or other premiums to customers. In addition, we will advertise and label our products and services truthfully and will not mislead consumers.
|Product claims labeling||Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, Unfair Competition Prevention Act, Trademark Act, Design Act, Copyright Act, Fair Competition Code (other than bulk labeling), Health Promotion Act, Local government ordinances|
|Bulk labeling, allergy labeling||Food Labeling Act, Measurement Act, Fair Competition Code (related to bulk labeling)|
|Caution indications, warning indications||Product Liability Act|
|Identification labeling of containers and packaging||Containers and Packaging Recycling Law, Law for Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources|
|Pharmaceutical labeling||Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Act|
Product information is communicated to customers through product packaging. We have established internal standards for conveying product information with an emphasis on easy-to-understand and easy-to-read packaging.
Allergens, including the 28 required to be listed, are displayed in large, easy-to-read colors also outside the batch labeling of ingredients.
In addition, our fish sausages and paste products do not contain eggs. For those who are allergic to eggs, we put an “egg free” mark on the package to inform them that our products are safe to eat.
In accordance with the Food Labeling Act, bulk labeling and nutritional information labeling for all products are generally written in 8-point type or larger. However, if the display area of the container or packaging is 150cm2 or less, 5.5-point type or larger can be used.
When creating illustrations of product materials, etc., we take care to correctly depict the ingredients. To avoid depicting the wrong type of product or ingredient, we always check the actual ingredients before representing them in an illustration.
(Before modification) To identify it more easily as cheese, holes were added to the surface.
(After modification) After checking, it was found that the actual cheese used was one without holes in its surface. Therefore, the illustration was corrected to show cheese without holes.
In the “Basic Quality Control Seminar”, one of the employee education programs provided by the Quality Assurance Department, we also conduct training on labeling standards (once a year).
Through the acquisition and renewal of FSSC22000 and other certifications, we also undergo external inspections for our labeling.
We have established a Whistleblowing System to identify any violations of standards.