TOKYO - Here is another surprise from Japan's Kinki University, which in 2002 was the first in the world to produce fully farmed bluefin tuna: lip scrub.
The university and confectionery maker UHA Mikakuto, whose drops and gummies are widely known in Japan, have developed beauty care products that contain moisture-retaining collagen from the university-grown tuna.
Two items - lip scrub and gummy candy - have been launched under the brand name Bi Wa Okuchi Kara Kenkyusho, which can be translated as "laboratory of beauty for mouth."
The lip scrub contains bluefin tuna collagen and sugar grains that remove keratin from the lips.
"Put a pearl-size dollop on your lips, scrub a while with your finger, leave it for two to three minutes and rinse," the instructions say. "Your lips will be moister."
The candy, which comes in grapefruit and mixed-berry flavors, contains the tuna collagen in its sugar coating.
Kinki University raises about 3,000 adult tuna a year. Most are consumed in Japan. In addition to selling the fish to retailers and restaurants, the university also serves the farmed bluefin as sashimi at its own restaurants in Osaka and Tokyo.
Despite the restaurants' popularity, the university still sought business partners to commercialize parts of the tuna not served in the restaurants.
The first collaboration came in 2014 with Japanese foodmaker Acecook. The university and the company released a cup noodle with bouillon made by boiling tuna backbones not cooked in the restaurants.
In the collaboration with UHA Mikakuto, the university utilizes the skin of the tuna.
According to the university, 100 grams of collagen can be extracted from an average 40kg bluefin tuna.
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