Kaneka received the Technical Award of the Society for Biotechnology, Japan

―For the development of the Biodegradable Polymer PHBH manufacturing method―

Kaneka Corporation
September 18, 2018
Kaneka Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Mamoru Kadokura) was awarded with the 2018 Technical Award*1 from the Society for Biotechnology Japan (hereinafter “SBJ”) *2, regarding “Development of the fermentation production technology of biodegradable polymer PHBH” and the award ceremony was held in Kansai University on September 5, 2018. In the industrial manufacturing method of Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer PHBH using microbial fermentation, it was appraised to consider from an improvement of microbe by molecular breeding technology in basic research to a fermentation process development in industrial scale and establish a PHBH production technology that improves polymer properties.

Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer PHBH is produced from 100% renewable resources such as plant oils and has excellent biodegradability. In Europe, regulations for reduction of single-use plastics have been tightened, therefore, it has been used for fruits/vegetable bags or a compostable bag*3. Recently, negative impacts for ecosystems by microplastics*4 contamination are more concerned as a global issue. In such situation, Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer PHBH has been acquired the certification of biodegradability in marine water*5 and also approved as a Food Contact Substance*6 by the Food and Drug Administration in the US*7 (hereinafter “FDA”). Kaneka will widely expand its application for such as marine materials or food packaging materials and contribute to preservation of the global environment and realization of sustainable societies.

  1. An award that is given for persons who significantly contribute to technology development for biotechnology.
  2. An academic society that has been established in 1923 and has purposes for progress/prevalence of biotechnology researches and academic development. One of cooperation organizations for academic research in the Science Council of Japan.
  3. It means a treatment method to degrade organic matters such as raw garbage using microbes into compost or compost itself.
  4. Small plastic particles (5 mm or less in diameter). It is concerned that chemical substances contained/absorbed on microplastics are included in the ecological chain and provide impacts on ecosystems. It is derived from microbeads used in scrubs contained in facial washes/tooth pastes or plastic products, which are 5 mm or less in diameter by being crushed or broken down in the natural environment.
  5. The “OK Biodegradable MARINE” certificate has been acquired in September 2017, from Vincotte, an international certifying body headquartered in Belgium. Vincotte took over their certifying work to TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium NV in December 2017.
  6. A US government agency who expertly conducts administrations for approvals of products or controls of violated products, which have opportunities to contact with consumers in their daily lives such as foods, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, medical equipment, animal drugs, toys, etc.
  7. Substances that are used as ingredients of materials for manufacturing, packing, packaging, transportation or retention of foods, and certified products by FDA as they do not give significant impacts for use by risk assessments with actual exposures to relevant foods.


Photographed in the award ceremony on the first day of the 70th SBJ Annual meeting
(From the left, Kuniki Kino, President of the Society for Biotechnology, Japan; Keiji Matsumoto on behalf of award winners)