March 13, 2007
March 13, 2007
Satake manufactures various types of optical sorters. In addition to chute-type sorters suitable for grains like rice and wheat, Satake manufactures belt-type full color sorters designed to sort beans and industrial materials for which the shapes of the product vary widely or the color difference between good and bad products is very slight. Optical sorters have been widely accepted in various fields where consumers demand food safety and security. Satake interviewed Mr. Ryuichi Suzuki, the President of Denroku Co., Ltd. in Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture, to talk about the company’s pea and bean snacks.
Mr. Ryuichi Suzuki, President of Denroku Co., Ltd.
“Denroku-Mame” is a peanut snack produced by Denroku. Denroku is a well-known snack maker in Yamagata which was founded by Mr. Denroku Suzuki in 1924. The company incorporated in 1953 and became famous for its Denroku-Mame, earning a large nationwide following. Popular TV commercials added to the appeal to the extent that production of Denroku-Mame was outpaced by demand for decades. Despite all its success, however, the sale of Denroku-Mame gradually decreased in the 1970’s.
Mr. Denshiro Suzuki, the 2nd President, then took control of the business. He reviewed the business and refocused the organization on the needs of the customer. “We used to think that all good products would be accepted by the market. But this line of thinking led to arrogance and we ignored the demands of the customer.” Denshiro’s renewed emphasis on customer needs carries on to this day.
Zaonomori Factory at the base of the Zao mountain range.
Denroku began packaging their products in more convenient sizes, inserting deoxidizers into the packages to maintain freshness, and distributing a wider variety of box sizes so grocery stores could more easily stock them. “The process required investment but our sales began to increase again. We have always worked to fulfill the requests of our customers, no matter how difficult they may be. The meaning of our customer-first philosophy is even more important today as consumer focus on food safety continues to increase.”
Denroku’s effort to supply customers with safe and secure products starts with the choice of materials. The large peanuts used for Denroku-Mame are cultivated in and imported from China. Denroku instructs Chinese farmers in the cultivation methods it requires and also teaches factory workers how to sort and shell the peanuts. They dispatch officers from their headquarters in Japan to monitor quality, and Ryuichi himself observes the farms and the factory at least once a year. His philosophy is “go and see”.
Satake Full Color Belt Sorters used in Denroku Zaonomori Factory
Denroku has strengthened their inspection systems both in China and in Japan to check for residual pesticides. They have also introduced a traceability system at their head office that can instantly provide details on all aspects of a product, including cultivation, inspection, and trade history . They will continue to improve their instructions to farmers to help them cultivate safer and more secure products. We were certified by ISO9001 in 2003 for improved quality control. We could obtain the certification easily because our quality control has always been quite strict. Denroku is a company that prides itself on its commitment to producing safe and secure foods.”
Circumstances surrounding food and snack industries have changed. Product life cycles are getting shorter; new products are expected the moment a current product peaks, especially by convenience stores. To respond to changes in the market, Denroku believes it necessary to improve its product development speed while keeping a close eye on market changes.
Consumers are more concerned than ever about food safety matters, including contamination by impurities. Strict quality control plays a key role in preventing contamination, and the improvement of sorting accuracy is necessary to improve quality control. Optical sorters can be installed in the sorting process to reject discolored beans and beans for which the skin has not been completely removed. The difference in color between good beans and bad beans can be very subtle. Denroku used to sort such subtle defects by hand, but they were able to reduce the number of inspectors needed after introducing Satake optical sorters to their production line. Every part of a Satake optical sorter that touches the materials is made of stainless steel, eliminating the risk of paint contamination. The machines are easy to clean and the areas around them are easy to clean as well.
At the end of the interview, Ryuichi talked about Denroku’s future. “We will continue to supply bean-based food products in keeping with our central theme of ‘Creating Joy from Beans.’ The possibilities for new products are endless, as diverse varieties and recipes can be combined to create exciting new tastes. Peanuts are rich in functional components that have demonstrated anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties. We are currently investigating methods to fortify our products with nutrients such as polyphenol, an anti-oxidant compound. We will continue to focusing on the production of the tasty, safe, healthy and ecologically friendly foods desired by our customers.
Company Name : Denroku Co., Ltd.
Address : 2-45-3 Kiyozumi-Machi, Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture
Foundation : November 1924
Website : http://www.denroku.co.jp
* Please note descriptions in news releases are accurate as of the date of release and may differ from the most up-to-date information.