A number of free trade agreements (FTA) have been signed under the deadlock in the WTO multilateral trade negotiation after rriid-1990s. It was not before 2000 that the Japanese governnient decided upon a positive trade policy to promote FTAs with Asian countries in order to cope with the European Unioni (EL) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) . In almost all FTAs, trade goods which are not liberalized are agricultural products. Trade goods which are heatedly discussed in FTA negotiations between Japan and its counterparts are also agricultural products, because agricultural products fromrl Japan are hardly competitive ini the international market. The author, by studying both international and domestic discussions in the recent FTA negotiations, shOWS that there are differences between the logic of industrial side, which is based on the comparative advantage theory and the rriarket economy, and that of agricultural side, which is based on the special nature of agriculture.
Biodiesel Fuel (BDF), fatty acid methyl ester, is receiving widespread attention for its renewability and carbon neutral property. might be one solution for global environmental problems such as global warming and exhaustion of fossil fuel resources, The material oil of BDF differs in regions, palm oil will be chosen for BDF production in Southeast Asia. This time, we visited oil palm and palm oil research institutes and universities in Malaysia and Indonesia that are the largest and second largest country in palm oil production. Progress in palm-based BDF research and present state of palm oil industry were investigated, and economic feasibility of palm-based BDF in Southeast Asia was estimated. In the present state, BDF is not cost-competitive in Southeast Asia; breakthroughs in BDF production technology and dissemination policy are necessary for spread of BDF use there. Development of effective utilization of oil palm biornass such as empty fruit bunches turned out to be an important issue to be studied simultaneously.
Biodiesel fuel is the colloquial name for fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), Since it has some environmental benefits when used as an alternative diesel fuel, it is becoming more and more popular in the world, especially in Europe and the U. S. Although it can be derived from a wide variety of resources, waste cooking oil is the main fecdstock in Japan. It has also come to gain attention in Japan, however, it has not widely accepted vet because of its high production cost of the fuel. To overcome this hurdle, we proposed“noucatalytic alcoholysis method at normal pressures”to reduce the cost of FAME. Calculation results revealed positive energy balance of FAME production by a large-scale reactor, which produces 1000 kg of FAME per hour. In addition to estimating the price of FAME per kilograiri, we also evaluate the economic viability on 4 different financial cases to confirm the impact of expenditure for fcedstock on FAME production cost. We reached a conclusion that the costs of feedstock oil have a substantial effect on the final FAME price.
Kitchen refuse showed a good potential as substrate for lactic acid fermentation by Rlzizopus oryzae in out previous study. For improved lactic acid production, immobilized cells of R. oryzae on loofa sponge (ICLS) were applied to exploit from kitchen refuse medium. Effects of size and conformation of loofa Sponge were investigated in comparison with other carriers. ICIS stability and fermentation efficiency were also evaluated. Loofa sponge showed better immobilization than other carriers. Lactic acid yield was significantly increased (p>0.05) with ICIS, 72.6±2.5% (w/w) was obtained while 63.7±3.8% (w/w) for free cells culture in shaking flask condition. The ICLS with 1.0×1.0×1.0 cm3 showed a great capability and successfully reused for few hatches. The average lactic acid yield in 3 repeatedd batches was 73.3±1.9% (w/w) . After 72 h, lactic acid yield from 1.0×1.0×1.0 cm3 of ICLS (based on the amount of sugar consumed) with 69.2% (w/w) and 70.5 g/L of final concentration were obtained when conducted in 1-L of bioreactor under agitation speed of 100 rpm, aeration rate of 1.0 vvm and at 35°C. These results demonstrate that lactic acid production from kitchen refuse medium by R. oryzae could be enhanced by immobilization on loofa sponge which is cheap and renewable material result in environment-friendly technology.
In the coffee beverage industry, spent coffee grounds are generally used as fuel or treated as an industrial waste. Spent coffee grounds contain a large amount of β-rnannan, which can be turned to mannooligosaceharide (MOS) by thermal hydrolysis. The authors have investigated physiological functions of MOS to utilize by-products of coffee industry. In this study, we investigated the effects of liquid coffee containing MOS from spent coffee grouilds on human blood lipid levels and body fat. Thirty volunteers were selected as subjects for the test. They belonged to obese category 1 (25 kg/m2≤BMI<30 kg/m2) according to the standard of Japan Society for the Study of Obesity. They were divided into two groups for a double-blind designed test. One group ingested 300 ml of the test coffee beverage (containing MOS 3.0 g) per day for 12 weeks. Another groin ingested 300 ml of the control coffee beverage (containing corn syrup solid instead of MOS) as a placebo beverage. The subjects underwent a medical and physical examination from a doctor, the collection of blood and urine sainples after fasting, and the measureinent of abdominal fat areas using computed tornographic scanning at the start day and 4, 8, and 12 weeks after. Abdominal total fat area, subcutaneous fat area and visceral fat area in the MOS group were reduced significantly compared to the control group. The results showed that the administration of this test beverage (administration of MOS; 3 g/day) is promising as a means of reducing abdominal fat.
The effect of initial riloisttire content on oil absorption was investigated for a food model composed of various wheat flour and water mixtures. The models were prepared by widely varying the initial moisture content between 40% and 80% (wet basis), which covers dough to hatter. The samples were then fried at 150°C in palm olein oil for 1 to 7 min. The results revealed that both oil absorption and moisture loss have a linear relation with the square root of the frying time. It was suggested that the initial moisture content affected the porous structure forming through starch gelatinization during the frying process, consequently which induced the increase of absorbed oil during the flying process.
In a packed rice cake niariufacturing plant, about 5 m3 fresh water to one Lori of raw rice is used in each process of the rice washing and soaking process. The amount of water used ini both processes accounted for about 60% of that in the whole plarit regardless of season. The purpose of this study is to clarify the rice washing drainage by inernbrane separation techriictue and to reuse the clarified water in the rice washing and soaking processes in order to decrease the costs of fresh water and wastewater treatirient without spoiling product quality. especially storage stability related to rrucroorganisins. Because the results of the preliminary experiments suggested that UF membrane is suitable fur clarification of rice washing drainage, three types of hollow fiber UF riiembrane modules were tested nominal molecular weight cut off. 30kDa, 100kDa. and 150kDa. The analysis of drainage from the rice washing and soaking processes revealed that the first and second rice washing drainage contained a lame quantity of solutes and suspended substances. and permeation flux were very low. Therefore, we decided that the first and second drainage should be treated by active sludge method. and the other drainage should be clarified by UF membrane for recycling. A mixture of third to fifth rice washing drainage and rice soaking drainage was used for clarification and recycling experiments. The membrane modules far clarification of rice washing drainage was evaluated from the viewpoint of peririeation tiux, rejection rate of solutes. which were protein as high molecular weight substance and fatty acid as low molecular weight substance, and tiux recovery by riiembrane washing. It was concluded the meiribraiie module of 150 k was the most suitable for the clarification and recycling of rice washing drainage.