The network of the bioindustry of Hokkaido, and cooperation and market expansion with partners.

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Material introduction of functional foods

Among the salmon that is caught from the estuaries to coasts of Hokkaido, the chum salmon is the most common and represents an important food ingredient from long ago. The chum salmon are cold current fish and return to their river of origin to spawn in the fall, which is why they are often referred to as "Akisake", meaning "fall salmon." Not only the meat, but the roe, milt, heads, skins, backbones and fins are all usable and are not discarded.
From Hokkaido salmon, nucleic acid from milt, collagen from the skin, peptide from the roe sack, chondroitin sulfate found in nose cartilage and proteoglycan, all functional ingredients are utilized and developed. These functional ingredients are used in making byproducts when possessing the fish, which contributes to the decrease of marine waste as well. Because the functional ingredients found in salmon come from a fish Japanese are so accustomed to, consumers also feel safe in purchasing such items, which is why they are incorporated into so many products.

Nucleic Acid

One functional ingredient taken from the milt of salmon is nucleic acid. There is little demand for milt as food, and was used mainly for producing feed for animals. However, DNA(deoxyribonucleic acid) and nucleoprotein main elements found in milt were researched and developed. As a result, high molecular DNA, basic protein and these processed through enzymatic decomposition and reduced to low-molecular compounds were developed and incorporated into supplements and cosmetics. Nucleic acid can be found in beer yeast, soy beans, seaweed and bonito, but the kind used for supplements and cosmetics comes mainly from salmon milt. Due to demand of potable supplements in recent years, the supply of water soluble ingredients is increasing.
Until now research on functional ingredients mainly concerned improving metabolism, antioxidation. Besides this, reports of its value in improving brain function and hair growth have been heard as well. While it is being established as an ingredient to enhance beauty and soft skin, there are new channels such as foods to support brain function and hair growth products are being explored.
On a unique plane, DNA containing double helical conformation is being used to establish integrated technology on noxious substances such as dioxin, and be incorporated industial use such as filters for cigarettes and air conditioners.


Collagen is a type of fibrous protein found in animals, greatly in living organisms and mainly inside the dermal tissue, 70 % of which is in the dermis, and 50% of which is in the cartilage tissue. Presently, products aimed at improving skin and beauty drive the collagen market and is the top beauty supplement.
Collagen taken from salmon skin is developed into a high purity ingredient. Compared to collagen taken from mammals, allergens are lower, and new functions are being discovered. They are more stable at low temperatures, have higher water retentivity and are easier to be absorbed into the system.
Degeneration temperature is around 17℃ Celsius, which is considerably lower than collagen from mammals. Presently it is used in supplements, cosmetics, lamination ingredients for skin substitutes, stypsis and other medical supplies, food additives effective for anti-freeze damage, and gelatin foods with a new texture.


Peptide is obtained when the outer sack of the roe undergoes enzymatic decomposition. It has the same functions as animal placenta extract and contains higher contents of glycine and hydroxyproline than that of animals. Besides its rising popularity as a marine placenta type element, it serves as a substitute product for those who cannot use products originating from pigs due to religious views. At present, it is being used to produce supplements, drinks and cosmetics.
Research concerning functions has proven it is effective for preventing fat accumulation, controlling reduction in fat and pancreatic functions, antioxidant effects, active inhibition of tyrosinase, SOD mimicking activity, ACE inhibitory activity, antidiabetic effect, and unidentified clinical syndrome related bioactivity. Presently it is used mainly in the dermatology and beauty market, but is being considered as an ingredient for anti- metabolic syndrome related products.

Proteoglycan and Chondroitin Sulphate

In Hokkaido the ministry, academia and industry are working together to extract chondroitin sulphate, type II collagen and proteoglycan from the nose cartilage of salmon. Chondroitin sulphate taken from salmon nose cartilage is a new type, its molecular configuration similar to that of humans. Two sugars, glucuronic acid and glucosamine, in the same family as galactosan, are alternately in line and is suggested as an ingredient to appeal to arthrosis.
Proteoglycan is in general, a type of complex carbohydrate made up of combined supply of a few core protein chains and tens of sugar chains(glycosaminoglycan), which is largely found in the skin, cartilage and veins of animals. Sugar chains of proteoglycan found in cartilage are mostly made up of chondroitin sulphate and tend to have large amounts of molecules. It is high in water retentivity and is a vital component along with collagen and hyaluronic acid in forming cartilage. Main uses include anti-aging cosmetics due to its high moisturizing effect, and as a supplement for improving circulation, medicines, temporary ingredients for artificial organs and research reagents.

List of cooperating industries for this coverage.

The introduced content on Hokkaido's functional food ingredients was brought to you in cooperation with the following industries and products.
Industries Major Products
NISSEI BIO Co., Ltd. Salmon Milt origin DNA, nucleoprotein
IHARA & Co., Ltd. Salmon Skin origin collagen (atelomarine collagen solution, marine collagen peptides)
Fujiisuisan Co., Ltd. Salmon cartilage origin chondroitin sulfate
Biomatech Japan Inc. Salmon cartilage origin proteoglycan, II Type collagen (natural proteoglycan, natural collagen II)