Did Japan just reinvent the peel?

Japan’s latest cryogenic creation has everyone going bananas. Literally!

For the longest time, Japan had to rely on tropical countries for its banana fix — until Japanese scientists found a way to grow the fruit on home soil. Using a method called “freeze thaw awakening” that mimics conditions in Earth’s Ice Age, banana trees are first grown in a temperature of -60 degrees Celsius indoors, before the entire tree is transferred to a warm environment1.

The process not only shortens the amount of time it takes to grow bananas (from two years to four months), but also produces soft, thin and edible banana skins. This is even better news for banana lovers as the peel contains a hearty dose of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium.

Beyond creativity in food, Japan continues to be a leader in technological innovation. While Japan’s larger companies may be more well-known for innovation, its smaller companies should not be ignored. According to the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan’s smaller companies* employ 54% of the workforce and account for 48% of all corporate revenues2.

Benefit from Eastspring Investments’ in-depth knowledge to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the smaller companies within Japan.

1 https://www.inverse.com/article/40883-banana-edible-peel-japan
2 https://www.forbes.com/sites/outofasia/2017/11/27/it-wont-be-japans-startups-that-revive-the-countrys-innovation-but-its-mid-sized-tech-firms/#7d09acfd7e21
*Defined as companies that have 20–300 employees.

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