Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

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Review Article - Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2019) Volume 2, Issue 1

Enzymology of the national microorganisms of Japan in a historical context

Since the old days, Japanese people have produced alcoholic drinks using rice as the main raw material. Almost all the traditional fermented foods in Japan have been developed using with malted rice (“k?ji” in Japanese) using Aspergillus oryzae . The year of 1894 saw the true beginning of modern microbial enzyme technology, with “Taka-diastase”. Examples of major medicines that have been used continuously or more than 100 years include Adrenalin, Aspirin and Taka-diastase. Modern enzymology in Japan is advancing by quantum leaps over 100 years. All described in the text are widely recognized worldwide. After careful screening, a selected group of less than 100 references was chosen for a historical context. Gucoamylase, ribonuclease T1, and nuclease S1 are discovered, respectively. Many characteristic phenomena are also discovered with several enzymes. In 2006, the Brewing Society of Japan authorized the certification of “Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus sojae and Aspergillus luchuensis are as the national microorganisms (fungi) of Japan”. Traditional Japanese cuisine (“washyoku” in Japanese) was added to the United Nations Educatuional, Scientific and Cultural Organaization’s (UNESCO’s) Intangible Culture Heritage list in 2013. Leading studies of enzymology have introduced new systems which are at the forefront of modern biotechnology.

Author(s): Eiji Ichishima

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