vol.40 国産カラハリスイカを栽培せよ。 | サステナブルタイムズ by ユーグレナ | Sustainable Times by euglena

euglena Project

40

Domestic Kalahari watermelon
Cultivate.

Challenge for domestic cultivation and commercialization of miracle watermelon

2013.09 –

Ongoing

Researchers fascinated by Kalahari watermelon

"This plant has tremendous potential."

In 2010, Ogawa, who was enrolled in graduate school, was fascinated by the Kalahari watermelon that had been ordered to the laboratory as part of desert greening research.

Kalahari squid is a type of watermelon that originates in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa, and is also called a "miracle watermelon" because it lives freshly in a harsh environment that is said to receive twice as much ultraviolet light as Tokyo. Approximately 97% of the whole fruit is water, it has excellent water retention, and it is a miracle plant with the characteristics of being extremely resistant to rot and drying.

The Kalahari Desert is an extremely dry area with a large amount of ultraviolet rays and annual rainfall of 250 mm to 500 mm. In addition, the maximum daytime temperature is close to 40 ° C in summer, while it is cold in winter, and the temperature can drop to 2 ° C in a harsh environment.
It is useful as a valuable food that can be bred even in such an environment, and it enriches many lives such as people living in the desert and wild animals. Based on the research so far and the ancient knowledge of using watermelon as a crude drug, in addition to moisturizing, it has effects such as "improving the circulation of water and blood in the body" and "preventing oxidative disorders of the body such as inflammation". It is believed that there is. It is also known that Kalahari watermelon contains a component called "citrulline" that dilates blood vessels.

Based on these characteristics of Kala Harriska, Ogawa thought that it might be effective for measures against heat stroke and improvement of the circulatory function of the body.

"In addition to dehydration, the factors that cause heat stroke are that heat is trapped in the body. As a countermeasure, it is necessary to improve blood flow and make it easier for the heat inside the body to be released to the outside. It has also been reported that active oxygen increases in the body in heat stroke. Kalaharis squid has also been shown to have an antioxidant effect, and by reducing oxidative stress, which has been pointed out to be associated with all kinds of diseases. , May play a big role in the prevention of illness. "

After that, Ogawa, who obtained a doctorate in plant bioscience, set his research area to Kalahari watermelon and was devoted to researching Kalahari watermelon. Our Kengo Suzuki (Executive Officer in charge of R & D) visited Ogawa's laboratory. Suzuki was also one of the researchers who learned about the existence of Kalahari watermelon at plant-related academic societies and was fascinated by its potential.

Kalahari watermelon in the Kalahari Desert (Botswana)

"Kalahari Watermelon
Let's spread it more. "
Words that made me decide to jump into a company

As the same researcher, Ogawa and Suzuki have a common desire to "do research that is useful to people," and have begun joint research on Kalahari watermelon. After three years of joint research, Ogawa was invited by Suzuki to ask him if he could do more specialized research at Euglena

No matter how much Kalahari watermelon is a potential material, its appeal is little known to the public. Unless its appeal is recognized, more companies will not be willing to deal with it. To overturn such a situation, Suzuki positively told Ogawa, "Let's spread the Kalahari watermelon together."

"At that time, as a researcher, in the days of staying in a university laboratory, I was getting more and more sick of" Is my research really contributing to the world? "The research results have a positive effect on someone's life. I want to see the scene that brings about this up close. With that in mind, I decided to join Euglena

Euglena Euglena is researching and developing, "Kalaharis squid" is a kind of watermelon and may be said to be foreign.
Nevertheless, Ogawa believed that "Kalahari watermelon should be able to make people and the earth healthy like other materials," and began to move to establish Kalahari watermelon as the "next generation material" of Our

From the left, Suzuki and Ogawa

While growing vigorously in a warm environment,
"Heavy rain" not found in the desert
It can also cause poor harvest

First, the big problem was the stable cultivation of Kalahari watermelon native to Africa in Japan. Cultivation of domestic Kalahari watermelon outside the Kalahari Desert was the first series of processes.

Since it was originally a wild plant, there was no know-how to grow seedlings and plant them on farmland at first. Even after starting the cultivation of Kalahari watermelon in cooperation with domestic affiliated farmers and agricultural cooperatives, we have faced various problems such as the fact that the leaves are growing large but no fruits are produced.

Among them, the problem of "rain" was particularly difficult. The Kalahari squid, which is native to the desert and has a clear distinction between the rainy season and the dry season, repeats the cycle of "growing in the rainy season, producing fruits in the dry season, and rotting the fruits and releasing seeds when the rainy season comes again." Japan, which has a lot of rain throughout the year, is incompatible as a growing environment and has an adverse effect on cultivation. Heavy rains often result in poor crops, and it is not easy to control fruit yields.

On the other hand, Ogawa was also amazed at the vitality and growth potential of Kalahari watermelon.
"In some cases, the vines grew with the force of attacking the adjacent fields where they were cultivated, pierced the farmer's greenhouse, and most of the fruits grew outside the house," he said.
Kalahari squid may grow in a volume several times larger than that of domestic watermelon, which is common in Japan.

Kalahari watermelon leaf growth period (Gose City, Nara Prefecture)

Possibility of Kalahari Watermelon

After making many mistakes, Ogawa finally got the cultivation of domestic Kalahari watermelon on track through trial and error with partner farmers and agricultural cooperatives. Currently, it can be harvested every year in Nara and Chiba prefectures, and commercialization using Kalahari watermelon is gradually progressing.

Kalahari watermelon fruit in early development

Ogawa currently Our, Ltd. and is in charge of sales and PR of Kalahari Watermelon. Despite being a researcher with a PhD in plant bioscience, he wanted to move to the sales department himself.

"Initially, as a researcher, I was in charge of sales support to talk about the appeal of Kalahari watermelon, but now I want to convey it more directly. Sales also have a connection to research. When I visited the customer and investigated the demand there, he said, "If we can develop a new product that combines such a plant and Kalahari watermelon, we will be able to meet the demand, and it seems that doing this kind of research will make us feel more valuable." New ideas come to mind. "

Ogawa (right) who appears in a webinar of about 1000 people as a researcher

In addition, a material called "Kalahari Watermelon", which is still not well known. However, Ogawa believes in that possibility more than anyone else and is struggling. The driving force is "Kalahari watermelon love," which is still the same.

"We would like to develop a lot of products that are useful for the health and beauty of humans and animals and use them by many people. The function of Kalahari watermelon has only been partially elucidated, and we would like to proceed with further research. Kalahari watermelon is really cute in appearance, and I want to pay attention to the packaging and appearance of the product so that I can express it. "

Ogawa explaining Kalahari watermelon at the exhibition

Ogawa's actions will be a trigger to spread the possibilities of Kalahari watermelon to the world.
The challenge continues to make people and the earth healthy with the power of Kalahari watermelon and to create a world of Sustainability First.

Posted in February 2021



カラハリスイカOEM製品化のお問い合わせはこちら


Euglena Data

~ Desert Jewel Kalahari Watermelon ~

Click here for Kalahari Watermelon Research Report

Character

Sales department
Material / Overseas Sales Section 2
Taro Ogawa

Joined company in April 2016
In charge of material research and development and research promotion projects between groups at the Functional Research Division. Since October 2018, he has been involved in sales, OEM product planning, and material branding for Kalahari watermelon.

"From a botanist's point of view, the Kalahari squid is a mysterious and wild creature. It's a series of surprises whether you eat, grow, touch, or study. This kid is really amazing, everyone. Would you like to join us? "

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Domestic Kalahari watermelon
Cultivate.