International Institute of Rare Sugar Research and Education

Research Centersat the Faculty of Agriculture
Agricultural Resource Technology Center
Aji Marine Research Center
Applied Life Science Research Center
Food Safety Research Center
Plant Genome Research Center
International Institute of Rare Sugar Research and Education
University Research Farm


The world leading “Rare Sugar Research” of Kagawa University strengthens a rare sugar production technology, and promotes a study on developments of rare sugar uses for various aspects including foods for specified health, pharmaceutical products, agriculture materials, etc. We will implement these research results into practical use aiming at what society could provide widely for the improvement of the society. For this purpose, Kagawa University reorganized an existing “Rare Sugar Research Center” and maintained it followed by installation of “International Institute of Rare Sugar Research and Education” as a new organization to promote this plan in April, 2016.

“Rare sugars” are monosaccharides (minimal functional unit of sugars) that occur only rarely in nature. There are about 50 types of rare sugar. They are not readily available for research purposes because of their high cost and low availability. However, research in Kagawa has made the production of rare sugars possible by using “Izumoring”, a newly discovered structural framework of all monosaccharides. Rare sugars produced by the Takamatsu cluster include those that are not commercially available such as L-Psicose.


After developing the production of rare sugars, progress has been made in research on bioactivities in a wide range of organisms, from molecules (micro level) to higher animals (macro level), and discoveries continue to occur.

Focusing on useful property of D-Psicose as a food material, development of D-Psicose into “a specified health food” is rapidly advancing. D-psicose has anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, and anti-atherosclerotic effects.

The effects of rare sugars on plants have been found to accelerate the studies to produce “ecological pesticides”. For pharmaceutical and quasi drug product development, the application of the characteristic effects of D-Allose, including the antioxidation effect, has been studied mainly for development of preservative solutions for cells and organs.

Industry-academic-government collaboration studies on “rare sugars” as “dream materials” is rapidly growing because the great potential of rare sugars. The Kagawa University Rare Sugar Research Center will continue to be a leader in advancing rare sugar research and application.


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