Skip to content

Revolutionizing Seafood: The Quest for Ultimate Freshness and Flavor

Source: Softbank

Tokyo, Japan - In a major move by SoftBank Corp., a quality standardization project has been launched to establish objective methods for measuring the freshness and umami of fish. 

The project is part of Ehime Prefecture's broader "Triangle Ehime" initiative, set for fiscal 2023, and is seen as a strategic response to the looming "2024 problem" in the logistics and transportation sector.

Why It Matters:

The "2024 problem" refers to anticipated logistics challenges that could affect the transportation of perishable goods, such as fish.

A standardized measurement of fish freshness could revolutionize the seafood industry, affecting everything from pricing to consumer satisfaction.

The initiative could lead to improved quality control in the distribution of fish domestically and globally.

The Key Points

  • Currently, fish pricing lacks a consistent quality standard, relying solely on species and weight.
  • The K-value, a freshness metric established by JAS in 2022, does not currently allow for real-time assessment.
  • Identification of free amino acids, which contribute to the umami flavor of fish, is not standardized.

What They Say:

The consortium, which includes organizations such as SoftBank, Akasaka Fisheries, the Ehime Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Institute, Feed One, and Ride On Express, is working to define what constitutes "delicious fish" and establish criteria for freezer preservation. 

Each of these organizations has a specific role, ranging from research and development to providing technological solutions, such as machine learning models for real-time freshness detection.

What Comes Next:

Akasaka Fisheries will investigate methods for breeding, processing, and freezing fish.

The Ehime Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Institute and Feed One will analyze chemical components related to umami.

Ride On Express will provide expertise in sensory testing and establishing criteria.

SoftBank will provide machine learning models for real-time detection of freshness and umami using portable spectrometers.