Message from the Director
Greetings from the Director of International Institute of Rare Sugar Research and Education
On the occasion of an establishment of International Institute of Rare Sugar Research and Education
Director Kakehi, Yoshiyuki (Board of Trustee/Vice President)
Kagawa University International Institute of Rare Sugar Research and Education was established on April 1, 2016. This institute consists of members from all the academic units of Kagawa University, which plans for promoting wide ranges of research and development for rare sugars in order to meet international standards.
More than a quarter of century had been passed since Professor emeritus Ken Izumori of Kagawa University initiated rare sugar studies in a microbial field in the Faculty of Agriculture. Initially, rare sugar studies seemed to be greeted with some skepticism through asking "what is a role of monosaccharide in a process of the evolution useful for the mankind?". Later on, the “rare sugar” received public acceptance due to the persistent effort of the rare sugar study team of Kagawa University and various supports from the outside. Rare Sugar Sweet (RSS) products appeared in Japanese markets and invited various types of rare sugar studies or products were introduced by TV programs and commercial messages, and the various business prospects of rare sugar drew attention recently from the domestic as well as foreign countries including the United States and China.
The Rare Sugar Research Center of Kagawa University and the Rare Sugar Application Research Center of Kagawa Medical School were united to establish the Kagawa University Rare Sugar Research Center in October, 2003 and this unification pushed forward a full-scale study. Thereafter many projects have been promoted with supports from the bureau cross-sectional cooperation of intramural researchers with companies, prefectural and governmental supports led by mainly Faculties of Agriculture and Medicine. Industrialization of rare sugars has been initiated and the name "rare sugar" appealed to the public intellect by the combined efforts of Matsutani Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. and Izumoring Co., Ltd. in Miki-cho, which brought both the companies to its current pinnacle of success.
The start of Kagawa University International Institute of Rare Sugar Research and Education with a progressive cancelation of Rare Sugar Research Center strengthens the study system for rare sugars with wider and deeper aspects. "Izumoring", which summarized a blueprint design of rare sugar production started from D-glucose following multiple series of enzymatic reactions for production of different rare sugars which presently exceeded more than 50 types, is the origin of the research and development of this institute and is mental backbone, too. Until now Kagawa University is the only institution, which is capable of producing all types of rare sugars, but the international competition is intensifying due to the possibility of rare sugar uses in various other fields as stated above.
Kagawa University maintains the overwhelming superiority based on a blueprint design of rare sugar production, which should be called the origin of the rare sugar study in its hand alive, and a mission of this institute is to promote research and development under production engineering bases of various types of rare sugar. Kagawa University devotes all energy of the institute to clarify scientific value of the rare sugar as well as a possibility to lead to mysterious elucidation of the birth of the living entity on the earth by fundamental energy source of sugars.
To that end, it is necessary for many researchers in multi-disciplinary fields from both inside and outside of the country to participate more intensively to explore many masked domain of rare sugars. And lastly I expect hearty support to this International Institute of Rare Sugar Research and Education.