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Damaged Vegetables Used to Make Health Food (February 5, 2007)

(From left) "Skin care," "internal cleansing assist," and "vitamin charge" Nepurée drinks (Hirota Co., Ltd (JUS de COEUR))
Fruits and vegetables that are rejected for sale because they are irregularly shaped or bruised are often thrown away. Now, however, these otherwise perfectly good foods are being used in purée form under the brand name Nepurée. This line includes juices, foods, and even desserts. With people in Japan eager to cut down on waste these days, inspired by the Japanese word mottainai ("What a waste!"), these products are attracting a great deal of attention.

Sweetness Boosted Through Heat
Nepurée products are made from fruit or vegetables that have been subjected to intense heat for a short time and then made into puree form using centripetal force. The application of heat brings out the sweetness that fruits and vegetables naturally contain, and because no cutting instruments are used, the nutritional elements are undamaged at the cellular level. The manufacturer Vegetech Co. and its partner Kanto Orto Co. released products last year bearing the message "the new shape of vegetables."

In the Echika Omotesando shopping area inside Omotesando Station on the Tokyo Metro subway system is a juice bar called Jus de Coeur. This shop offers a variety of blended Nepurée juice products for ¥350 to ¥400 (around $3.00 to $3.30 at ¥120 to the dollar) per cup, and this unusual juice bar is racking up robust sales. In the year since it opened, this shop, which is only about 4 square meters large, has averaged 200 to 300 customers a day and monthly sales of ¥3 million to ¥3.5 million (about $25,000 to $30,000).

The Jus de Coeur juice bar (Hirota Co., Ltd (JUS de COEUR))

Second Factory Planned
The drinks bear names reminiscent of nutritional supplements, such as "skin care" and "vitamin charge." "Internal cleansing assist" is made with pineapple fiber and lactobacillus. It is thick, rich, and satisfying. A spokesperson for the shop explains: "Pineapple cores, which are usually thrown away, have been added to the Nepurée, making the drink sweeter and tastier."

A second Nepurée factory is scheduled to open in Otobe Town, Hokkaido, in the near future, and it appears likely that this trend of making use of fruits and vegetables that were previously thrown away will continue to gain momentum.

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Copyright (c) 2007 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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