Potatoes are one of the agricultural products that rapidly spread after the Meiji Era (1868-1912), resulting in an increase in consumption in Japan. The objective of this study was to determine the cause of the increase in potato consumption, from the viewpoint of the consumer, by investigating the incorporation of potatoes into the Japanese diet from the end of the Taisho Period (1912-1926) through to the early Showa Era (1926-1989). "The Complete Collection of Daily Japanese Food" was used as a resource to describe the characteristics of potatoes and classify them according to those characteristics. The incorporation of potatoes into the diet varied greatly, depending on the region. The natural environment of the potato and the history of potato use were also factors affecting the incorporation of potatoes into the Japanese diet. Another factor that may have contributed to the popularity of the potato as a food ingredient is its superior cooking characteristics, which allow it to be used in cooking styles within various regions.
Parvalbumin (PA) is a major allergen of fish allergy, and its content varies between different species of fish. In this study, we evaluated the antigenicity of PA in 127 commercially available fish species by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). First, we evaluated the antigenicity and allergenicity of 12 species of fish belonging to the Salmonidae family by ELISA with monoclonal anti-frog PA IgG antibody and serum IgE from an allergic patient. Among the 12 salmonid fish, shiro-zake (chum salmon) showed the least antigenicity, and landlocked fish generally showed more antigenicity than sea-run fish. Trout and landlocked species that are not among the specified food ingredients for labeling in Japan were higher in antigenicity and allergenicity than the salmon that has traditionally been eaten so far, indicating that salmon-reactive patients should be careful with these fish. The screening of 124 species of fish with the monoclonal anti-frog PA IgG antibody revealed that anago (common Japanese conger) had high antigenicity. Among the Osteichthyes, the antigenicity was low in shiro-saba-fugu (green rough-backed puffer) and shira-uo (ice fish). Among the Chondrichthyes, the antigenicity of ma-kasube (mottled skate), yoshikiri-zame (blue shark), and kawa-yatsume (Japanese lamprey) was also low. The PA content of four fish species, as quantified by ELISA using purified PA as a standard, was 17.6 mg/g in shiro-guchi (white croaker), 6.1 mg/g in shiro-zake (chum salmon), 4.9 mg/g in toki-shirazu (chum salmon) and 5.9 mg/g in shishamo (shishamo smelt).
We investigated the influence of soaking temperature on the water absorption in three cultivars of Japonica rice, Kinuhikari, Sasanishiki, and Hatsushimo, based on the modified water absorption rate calculation method for rice. The grains of each cultivar were processed under different conditions, i.e., 70% polished and polished rice. We compared the water absorption curves of grains soaked in water at 5°C, 20°C, and 40°C for 10 min to 24 h to ensure that the absorption had reached equilibrium. The absorption curves of grains soaked at 5°C and 20°C intersected those of grains soaked at 40°C in all cultivars of both 70% polished rice and polished rice. This "reverse phenomenon" was specific to the granular shape of the rice grain. The findings for these three cultivars descended from the different rice lines contradict the established theories in the field of cookery science. It is suggested that this occurs for many cultivars of Japonica rice.
Hanpen is a type of Japanese traditional fish cake. Fish paste (surimi) is ground with salt, egg white, yam (yama imo), starch, and other ingredients, and then boiled, resulting in a product with a distinctive foamy texture. Recently, polysaccharide thickeners (chiefly guar gum) have often been added during hanpen production. We investigated the effects of these foaming agents on the characteristics of hanpen, such as taste and hardness, by means of sensory tests, physical property measurements, and optical microscopy. Fresh shark meat was used for preparing the hanpen samples, and the roles of egg white and yam were determined by omitting them from the list of common ingredients used for hanpen production. Hanpen's hardness increased in the absence of polysaccharide thickeners when egg white or yam was omitted from the set of ingredients. Its specific gravity also increased, and the taste was disfavoured. The hardness was largely reduced when polysaccharide thickeners were added, and many roundish bubbles were observed in the optical micrographs. The specific gravity of the hanpen samples remained almost unchanged, even with the omission of egg white or yam.
We created trial food products made of tofu mixed with Japanese yam and containing air bubbles for consumption by dysphagia patients. We studied the physical properties and health benefits of the products and evaluated consumer preference.
The apparent density of the products continued to decrease for the first 16 min of whipping and then began to increase after 18 min of whipping. The texture of the product was within the acceptable range for a level III dysphagia diet, as defined by the Consumer Affairs Agency of the Government of Japan. The products prepared with a whipping time of 10 to 16 min were equally preferred by panellists. The oxygen radical absorbance capacity value of this product was 601~674 μmol Trolox equivalent/100 g, which was comparable to the antioxidant activity of carrots.
These products have potential application as a food for dysphagia patients and they have the additional health benefit of high antioxidant activity.
The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between salad colouration and colours image and consumer preference. Questionnaires were given to 40 males and females aged 20-40 years. Six single-colour and eleven two-colour salads were prepared with vegetables corresponding to six basic colours. Photographs of the prepared salads were included on the questionnaires. Results showed that the 40 panels had tended to have a positive image of the green salad in single-colour salads and the green/red salad in two-colour salads. Additionally, the preference of these salads was highly evaluated irrespective of colour percentage. However, preferences were low for the green/white salad. These results suggested that it was not necessarily coincide with the salad colourations and the colouristic thinking. Furthermore, we found that along with the long-term psychological background of individuals who consumed salads, the salad colourations affected their preference.
In order to potentially expand consumption of rice and solve the issues accompanying wheat consumption, such as wheat allergic diseases, a new gluten-free bread recipe using soy flour and rice flour as the main ingredients was researched. The bread made from deodorized soy flour was preferred to general soy flour. The use of deodorized soy flour with rice flour in a ratio of 6:4 received the most positive evaluation. The addition of whipped egg white, at the ratio of 30% of the flour weight, promoted swelling and seasoning of the dough, and the numerical value of specific volume was improved. The bread prepared using these ingredients in the above mentioned composition was named "deodorized soy flour bread".
The characteristics of this bread were examined and compared with those of 100% rice flour bread and 100% wheat flour breads. The properties examined were the size of the bread, its physical properties, the water content and the antioxidant activities (radical scavenging abilities). Generally, the evaluations of the deodorized soy flour bread were inferior to those of wheat flour bread but were superior to those of rice flour bread. This deodorized soy flour bread was determined to be an edible daily bread through sensory evaluation. Isoflavone content in deodorized soy flour was high, and the bread made from this flour showed strong antioxidant activity.