Special FeatureⅠ Food Production Support
New Fertilizer for Agriculture
Technology to Efficiently Produce Oxidized Glutathione (GSSG) Based on Fermentation
KANEKA PEPTIDE is a new high-performance fertilizer containing oxidized glutathione (GSSG), which provides nutrients to plants.
GSSG works as a fertilizer to make plants grow effectively. It causes corn kernels, for example, to grow larger even as the number of kernels increases. Heavy use of conventional chemical fertilizers has reached the limit of their ability to increase yield, while some have also been known to cause soil degradation. GSSG, on the other hand, stimulates the innate power of plants to further increase yield while improving the ecological profile of fertilizers.
We are targeting more than 10 billion yen in sales in 2020 by accelerating our global business development
GSSG is a natural ingredient commonly found in plants and animals, including human cells. Kaneka developed the technology to efficiently produce naturally existing GSSG. Moreover, in collaboration with the Research Institute for Biological Sciences, Okayama Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, which has been studying the effect of GSSG on plant growth, we are developing effective plant fertilization methods. “We use fermentation technology for glutathione production and pharmaceutical technology for the purification process, both of which are Kaneka Group's core strengths.” (Taku Mohri, Bioproducts Research Group, Biotechnology Development Laboratories)
Bioproducts Research Group
Pilot Studies All Over the World Find 10% - 40% Yield Increase
Effective technology will further benefit society when it is used widely. Anticipating the global market, Kaneka Group has begun pilot studies of KANEKA PEPTIDE on various crops in collaboration with universities, agricultural experiment stations and large-scale farms in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, India, China, Canada and the U.S. Remarkably, 10% - 40% increases in yield have been confirmed in potato, cassava, sweet potato, corn, onion, eggplant and other crops.
Another key to gaining more customers is its simple application. A method of integrating the product into existing fertilization systems has to be devised, since even a single spraying can become costly in countries such as the U.S., where efficient farming is practiced over vast land areas. Furthermore, when we expand the product's range to small-scale farms and regions where people are suffering from starvation, it is crucial that we implement awareness programs and create fertilizer formulas for spray amounts and timing. We are conducting such pilot studies to resolve each of these issues.
“Even with the limited workforce available for R&D, the food issue is such a pressing one that we are testing various methods for crops in various countries. We need to launch this product simultaneously worldwide for timely widespread adoption. With its power to enhance plant growth, GSSG has the potential to expand agricultural land to areas with poor soil or those prone to cold weather damage.” (Taku Mohri)
Encouraging Agriculture through Materials R&D for Plants
As the pilot studies progress in various parts of the world, an agricultural experiment station staff provided the Group with an important insight: the human body has been extensively studied in the course of developing therapeutic drugs and supplements, while many aspects of plants are still unknown. “That's why I believe we can still make great strides with plants. We hope to encourage agriculture by developing ingredients that are useful to plants.” (Taku Mohri)
Moving forward, Kaneka will continue to concentrate on technologies acquired from advanced research for food production support, one of our key strategic domains.
Developing formulations while studying easier dispersion and irrigation for farmers
Dr. Sci. (Kyoto Univ.)
Director, Plant Redox Regulation Research Group
Research Institute for
Okayama Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture,
Forestry, and Fisheries
"I hope more young people will work in agriculture.
Kaneka and I share the same motto: For the farmers."
The Okayama Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries works on developing and promoting technologies that support agriculture, forestry and fisheries, while fostering their future leaders. At the Research Institute for Biological Sciences, we conduct basic, fundamental research in biotechnology that promotes agriculture, manufacturing and industries in the environmental field. I have studied GSSG, an ingredient in KANEKA PEPTIDE that carries an important function.
I began collaborating with Kaneka because we share the same motto and goal: For the farmers, providing products at reasonable prices. Further agricultural development requires products to be available at affordable prices to everyone. Also, I look forward to Kaneka’s efforts to promote the effective use of KANEKA PEPTIDE.
As Japan’s agricultural population declines and ages, the key to raising our food self-sufficiency rate is to improve profitability, so that young people will consider farming as their career. KANEKA PEPTIDE will certainly help increase agricultural income; actually witnessing this themselves will make more young people aspire to work in agriculture.