Syrup Made From Kawasaki-Produced Pepper Hits Stores; Joint Collaboration Between Industry, Academia and Government

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kogarasyrup, a syrup with a subtle-sweet flavor

KAWASAKI — An industry-academic-government collaboration, including university students, successfully developed a syrup called “Kogarasyrup” using a new variety of pepper developed in the city of Kawasaki. The syrup went on sale in late January. Called Kogarashi, the pepper is characterized by its fragrance and spiciness. The syrup produces a unique and spicy taste when mixed with milk or poured over ice cream.

Those involved in the project hope that it will be the city’s new specialty.

The small, wrinkly pepper was developed in 2018 by food manufacturing giant Ajinomoto Co.’s research institute in the city’s Kawasaki Ward in cooperation with the city’s agricultural technology support center. Its spiciness is one thousandth of that of an ordinary chili pepper.

However, despite years since its development, Kogarashi is yet to be known widely. Last year, Miyu Japan, a consulting firm in the city that helps local farmers and restaurants develop new products, asked for advice from the Kawasaki Shinkin Bank in response to consultations from Kinoshita Noen, a local farmhouse that produces the peppers.

The bank connected them with a seminar by Prof. Tamotsu Takemoto of Meiji University’s School of Agriculture and the Kawasaki city government, which led to the development of the new product in an industry-academia-government collaboration.

In response to students’ views that the new product should be used in various ways, the group decided to develop a syrup, which can be enjoyed in different manners, like adding it to beverages. The students’ opinions were also incorporated into the bottle design.

“Making the product wouldn’t have been possible without the students,” said Miyu Japan President Atsushi Iwa, 39.

The product is available at six different stores in the city. On Jan. 29, when it went on sale, students promoted the syrup in front of the Miyamaedaira branch of Haifukiya drugstore.

“It’s delicious when you drink it with hot water like ginger tea,” said the university’s fourth-year student Kosuke Watanabe, 22.

“We’d also like this to be used in restaurants to enliven the local community,” said the seminar’s deputy leader, Kasumi Sugita, 22, who coined the new product’s name.

Kogarasyrup is priced ¥1,000, including tax.