Tokyo — Japanese food and drink giant SoftBank Corp. said Tuesday it is developing a way to turn a sushi restaurant into a laboratory for studying the effects of toxins and other chemicals on humans.
SoftBank is the largest Japanese investor in Tokyo-based Masaya, and Masaya has spent nearly $3 billion since 2000 developing products for the Japanese market.
Softbank also said it is working with Japanese scientists and scientists to create a new research lab for the study of toxins.
The Japanese company is also developing a smartphone app for analyzing the effects on humans of certain food compounds, such as pesticides.
Masaya was founded in 2003 by Tadashi Takayama and Hiroshi Kawakami.
Softboard chief executive Toshihide Nishikawa said in a statement that the company has already created a prototype laboratory that can measure the effects from chemicals such as benzene, a neurotoxin, and is in the process of developing a “smart food” system that will be able to measure its effects on human health.
Soft-bank is aiming to turn Masaya’s laboratory into a center to develop new ways to detect toxins and detect potential health risks from toxins, including through the use of sensors and other technologies.
The Tokyo-headquartered company will also work with Japanese researchers to develop a new way to measure the toxicity of chemicals in food, including pesticides.
In addition, SoftBank will work with Masaya to develop ways to monitor the health effects of various chemicals, including the effects for cancer and neurological disorders.
The company has been looking at ways to improve food safety and the environment, Nishikawa added.
The laboratory is a joint venture with the Japanese chemical manufacturer Kirin, which has been working with Masayas scientists to develop sensors and food safety devices.
Masayasa, which is owned by SoftBank, is a Japanese conglomerate that operates a range of businesses including the world’s largest fast-food chain, KFC Corp., as well as a range-extension company and a restaurant chain.