Entering into the market by overcoming barriers to entry by developing completely new technology

Taiyo Kagaku Sucrose fatty acid ester development project2022.06.16

  • Industry:MaterialsFood

  • Processes:Organic synthesis


Manufacturing technology born from the idea “How can we best make use of microwaves’ unique characteristics?”

Sucrose fatty acid esters are food additives made from sugar, water, and fatty acids.

They are used as an emulsifier in foods such as milk coffee, tea, bread, chocolate, and cookies and are useful for stabilizing food quality, preventing food deterioration in distribution and improving texture.

However, market entry is extremely difficult due to technical barriers to entry as only two companies worldwide are able to produce them protected by IP.

In light of this, Taiyo Kagaku, a manufacturer of functional food materials with a proven track record using microwaves, together with MWCC, embarked on developing sucrose fatty acid esters.

The significance of using microwaves

Energy only goes where sucrose fatty acid esters reactions occur

The reason only two companies worldwide can produce sucrose fatty acid esters is that various sucrose fatty acid esters are synthesized during the reaction stage and refining desired properties requires large amounts of energy and sizeable equipment.

So, in order to enter the market, we began development of a manufacturing technology that is radically different from conventional methods so as to make the most of the characteristics of microwaves.

This technology was intended to produce only targeted sucrose fatty acid esters with the necessary properties by using microwaves to selectively apply energy to the exact spot. This novel technology greatly simplified the processes.

Furthermore, it increased the production of required properties (hereafter known as HLB1), thereby reducing the refining process.

Development Story

Tackling the most difficult refining process

In 2013, we began our search into reaction conditions for the synthesis and subsequent purification of HLB1.
After two years of research, we finally obtained HLB1 of the desired quality.

production of sucrose fatty acid esters, TMT Corporation, completing construction of a plant in Yokkaichi, Mie, in 2017.

This plant produces approximately 1,000 tons of high-quality, high-purity sucrose fatty acid esters per year, while consuming half the energy of conventional production processes.

The TMT plant

Social impact

An option for food manufacturers around the world.

The market for sucrose fatty acid esters is growing, especially overseas.

In terms of sales, we will first supply canned coffee and milk tea manufacturers in Japan and China, then further expand sales to Southeast Asia and the rest of the world, with plans to obtain Halal certification in line with Muslim requirements.

We will protect food quality around the world by expanding choice and distribution. We hope that our technology will help achieve this.