The appeal of plant-based meat raw materials nurtured by 30 years of research
What is the Ochiai germination method (OGM)?
OGM technology is a new cultivation technology that induces biological reactions in the germination process of soybean seeds by environmental stress. Even in seeds other than soybean, once the enzyme gene related to germination is switched on, the enzyme is expressed and metabolism progresses explosively. At the same time, it produces a large amount of energy and promotes growth. Also, when seeds are activated by the germination process, enzymes are busy breaking down stored starch and proteins into sugars and amino acids. Therefore, we are not focusing on the inert soybean seeds (grains), but on the soybeans (plants) immediately after germination that have awakened and started their activities.
By exposing growth conditions such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature, and water to the stress side during soybean germination, it activates secondary metabolism that is not seen in the normal seed growth process. By doing so, the enzyme activity and decomposition reaction rate increase sharply, and secondary metabolic compounds such as free amino acids increase at once. This is the basic principle.
DAIZ operators densely germinate soybeans in tanks. When the germination of soybeans begins in a dense state, the temperature inside the germination tank rises. At the same time, oxygen is consumed rapidly, and the amount of carbon dioxide increases in return. This environment is very stressful for germinating soybeans. On the other hand, in soybean cells, degrading enzymes and synthases are activated to resist severe stress. As a result, metabolism is progressing at a rapid rate.
In DAIZ, the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature, and water in the tank is exquisitely adjusted (tuned) using patented technology (Patent No. 5722518 / Patent No. 5795676) to provide stress.
After about 13 hours, the activation of enzymes increases glutamic acid (the source of umami flavor) to 10 times that of normal soybeans, arginine (the source of energy) to 2 times, isoflavone to 4.3 times, and GABA to 3.5 times.
What kind of products are the germinated soybeans developed using the Ochiai germination method?
We are developing [plant-based meat] with this technology at its core.
See our plant-based meat page for more information.
Of course, it can also be eaten as a tasty and functional salad soybean or as a functional powder for athletes to replace animal whey.
Introduction of the discoverer of the Ochiai germination method
The creator of the Ochiai germination method is Koji Ochiai (Director of DAIZ).
He has conducted thousands of germination experiments to analyze the functionality of ungerminated and germinated seeds.
His lifework is to find out what is happening in the body of a seed at the moment of germination.
- Koji Ochiai
- He was born in 1967 and graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture at Kinki University.
After working for a major food company, he started a bio-venture company in Napa, California in 2002.
After that, he started full-scale activities at the Nagahama Bio Incubation Center in Shiga Prefecture.
After many twists and turns, he is now a director of DAIZ.
In April 2019, he was appointed as a professor of Advanced Pharmaceutical Sciences at the School of Pharmacy of Kumamoto University.
His hobby is talking about science dreams over yakitori and beer.