His contribution to Science
Dr. Takamine repeatedly recommended that we should aim at rebuilding a resource deprived nation with the aid of scientific technology.
While employed by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce, he advocated the necessity of establishing brewing labs but his recommendation was not implemented. However, while helping Mr Korekiyo Takahashi as an assistant administrator in the patent office and during his time as sub-prefect, he strived to establish a patents and trademark system for Japan.
Dr. Takamine was the one who alerted the political and financial authorities in Japan to the necessity of establishing a National Science Research laboratory, an initiative that triggered the creation of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research.
The doctor, as acknowledged in his will, had hopes of developing The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research and demonstrated this by donating generously towards it each year for 5 years and even after his death.
Takadiastase: a treasure house of Enzymes
Various enzymes are present in Takadiastase, so much so that it is said that ‘If you are wishing for a new enzyme, first of all, peer into Takadiastase.’
Mr. Kamitaro, who was the factory manager of Takadiastase, published 33 varieties of enzymes in 1940. The next year, in an advertisement, Sankyo insisted on the fact that there were 7 major varieties of the enzyme. By 2005, it was claimed by a Japanese researcher in ‘Nature Magazine,’ that the yeast cell/plant has more than 12,000 genes.
Enzymes are used in various food products:
- confectionery and bread making
- alcoholic beverages such as sake, beer, wine, etc.
- dairy produce such as cheese, etc.
- fruit juice
And they are present in other products besides food:
- medical supplies
- food additives
- paper and pulp
- textile processing
Since 1970, the enzyme industry has experienced a rapid and global growth. Such swift expansion can be explained by an increasing concern about environmental preservation.
For example, the enzyme introduced into household detergents in 1968 had a high detergency factor and replaced phosphate which had been an active ingredient in soap powders until then. The occurrence of eutrophication, due to high levels of phosphorus in rivers, lakes and marshes, was one of the drawbacks of using phosphate and ceased to exist when this was replaced, contributing greatly to the conservation of the environment.