Japanese manufacturer Fujidenolo developing device to accurately detect fish freshness

Fujidenolo's corporate headquarters in Komaki, Japan.

Komaki, Japan-based Fujidenolo Co. is previewing a new device that accurately detects the freshness of fish at the 25th Japan International Seafood and Technology Expo, running from 23 to 25 August at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center.

The device that Fujidenolo – a manufacturer of medical, aerospace, healthcare, and more products – is developing measures the freshness index of fish flesh, or K-value of a fish, by detecting the degradation of enzymes that naturally deteriorate as seafood starts to degrade.

Using K-value as a measure of freshness dates back to 1959 when a Japanese research team first proposed the measurement, and the formula for it relates to the breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and the formation of its byproducts. ATP concentration is high in muscle tissue, where it provides the energy for muscle contraction. When animals die, cell respiration and ATP formation stop, and its degradation begins.

K-value compares how far ATP degradation has progressed with the spread of organic compounds typically present in degrading food. A lower K-value indicates fresher fish.

As raw seafood is common in Japan, quantifying the freshness of fish through K-value measurements is used to protect the health and safety of consumers, and along those lines, Fujidenolo envisions companies using the device to ensure that exports are as fresh as possible before shipment.

The technology for the new microchip-based device actually stems from a “Comilu” histamine microchip sensor previously created by Fujidenolo that can quickly and inexpensively measure histamine, the cause of scombroid poisoning, without the use of reagents. The sensor comes with a chip that plugs into a USB port on the device, quickly giving the user a reading on the presence of harmful histamine levels.

The new device employs the same principle as the ... 

Photo courtesy of Fujidenolo

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