The taste of “umami” was discovered over a century ago by Dr Kikunae Ikeda. He found that the main component of umami is glutamic acid, one of the amino acids. “Creating delicious spices at affordable prices and turning simple but nutritious food into delicious food” – this is Dr Ikeda's dream which has spread throughout the world to Indonesia. Entering the age of more than half a century, PT AJINOMOTO INDONESIA (Ajinomoto) has further strengthened its commitment to assisting the Indonesian people in providing the best even though they are in the midst of a pandemic.
Present in Indonesia since 1969, Ajinomoto contributes to better health for Indonesian families by unlocking the power of amino acids to address food and health problems associated with dietary habits and aging through contributing to improvements in food, health and a beneficial life.
Adhering to the Ajinomoto Share Value (ASV) which focuses on the pillars: health and well being, food resources, and global sustainability, Ajinomoto continues to develop itself through various product and service innovations. Through his global slogan "Eat Well, Live Well", Ajinomoto continues to make a major contribution in improving the quality of life of the Indonesian people as well as moving towards a sustainable business that is environmentally friendly.
Ajinomoto's Steps to Achieve More Eco-friendly for Indonesia
Not only food products, Ajinomoto is also proven to remain committed to protecting the environment. One of the Ajinomoto factories in Mojokerto succeeded in reducing water use by up to 35% which then developed an environmental care initiative through Waste Water Management Improvement. Not only that, the factory in East Java also always implements reduce, reuse, recovery, and recycle activities for most of the factory activities.
For better air, Ajinomoto participates in lowering the level of carbon emissions in Indonesia by reducing 38,500 tons of CO2 (carbon emissions) by reducing fuel consumption for all transportation at work, cutting the use of electric power, and overcoming steam leaks in production equipment. As we know, carbon emission is one of the contributors to air pollution which has a negative impact on human health and the environment.
The health of the surrounding environment becomes the most important thing from year to year, because the quality of human life is very dependent on how clean the surrounding ecosystem is. The amount of plastic waste that has been piling up from year to year has become a problem that must be resolved by various parties. Highlighting this problem, Ajinomoto also took concrete steps. The AJI-NO-MOTO® brand, which is closely related to the daily life of Indonesian families, contributes to overcoming the problem of plastic waste accumulation by reducing up to 30% the use of plastic materials in its packaging. The Masako Brand will also gradually reduce the use of plastic materials starting in October 2021. Not only reducing the use of plastic materials in packaging, but Masako has also reduced plastic in the header part. The Masako no inner plastic movement and the take out header part when compared to previous packaging, can reduce plastic use by 8.4%.
The remainder of the Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) production process is also developed by Ajinomoto into various alternative products, for example animal feed (Fermented Mother Liquor/FML) and leaf fertilizer (AJIFOL). In addition to producing this by-product, Ajinomoto also seeks to assist farmers in spraying AJIFOL liquid fertilizer using drone technology as an effective and efficient way to use water, human resources, and save costs to support sustainable agricultural cultivation. After going through trials, the application of drone technology has proven to be very efficient and only takes about 15 minutes per hectare with the amount of water ranging from 16 liters per hectare, compared to manually which takes about half an hour to 1 day with the amount of water around 200 liters per hectare.
“In addition to being committed to helping extend the healthy life expectancy of as many as 1 billion people worldwide, Ajinomoto also continues to strengthen its steps in improving the surrounding environment, by committing to reduce environmental impacts by up to 50%. We believe that collective action and good team collaboration are important in making it happen. We hope that the steps we take can inspire and trigger various parties to participate in maintaining the surrounding environment. We take this step not only for the sake of the present, but also for the happiness and health of Indonesian families in the future,” said Shinichi Matsumoto – President Director of PT AJINOMOTO INDONESIA.
Ajinomoto's Support for the Indonesian Student’s Achievement & Dream
Indonesia not only rich in natural resources, but Indonesia should also be proud of the achievements of its human resources. The achievements of young Indonesians also deserve thumbs up. Appreciating the bright achievements of the nation's children, starting in 2017 Ajinomoto presents the Winning Meals Program Kachimeshi (WMP). Through the WMP Program, Ajinomoto has faithfully supported the preparation of I Gede Siman Sudartawa (Siman) – a national swimming athlete from 2017 until now, through the assistance of balanced nutritious food. The WMP program was successful in helping Siman reduce fat levels while maintaining energy levels, thus leading to good results in his swimming record. This program has proven that a nutritionally balanced diet is the key to achieving a superior physique.
Ajinomoto Initiation in Health and Education
For Ajinomoto, good nutrition is a big thing that we highlight and is an important capital for the growth of future generations. “Indonesian children need good and complete nutrition to grow. With complete nutrition, the mental and physical development of Indonesian children will improve, so that they can grow into a strong nation. The School Lunch Program (SLP) is one of our initiatives to prevent malnutrition in children. We collaborated with the Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), and held the SLP program that we carried out in the pesantren that received the program. Through this program, we got positive results with an improvement in the nutrition of the students. It doesn't stop there, we are also working with the Dept. Community Nutrition of IPB & Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia to present the SLP guidebook which contains nutrition education, program implementation tips, and various applications of a balanced nutritious delicious menu," said Matsumoto.
More than a decade Ajinomoto has contributed to supporting the nation's children to continue their studies in the Land of Sakura. Through the Ajinomoto Foundation, this year Ajinomoto again provides scholarships for the 2023 academic year to selected Indonesian postgraduate students to continue their studies at 7 (seven) selected universities in Japan.
Ajinomoto also consistently holds a series of webinars starting from July to November 2021 on the topic of health and the use of MSG in fulfilling nutrition. Ajinomoto continues to disseminate informative facts about MSG that can be used as a flavoring agent to create a menu of healthy, nutritionally balanced, and delicious food. Furthermore, MSG also plays a role as a way to control salt intake and continue to increase nutritional intake in order to increase the life expectancy of the Indonesian people.
Consistent in Implementing the Halal Assurance System
Having commitment and consistency in implementing the Halal Assurance System (HAS) in all of its factories, Ajinomoto managed to maintain the A predicate and this year won the Halal Assurance System (“HAS Award 2021”) which was held on May 31, 2021 by LPPOM MUI. Ajinomoto also won the Corporate Achievement on Halal Innovation Award at the 2021 Indonesia Halal Industry Awards (IHYA) held by the Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Indonesia on December 17, 2021. The award is very meaningful for the progress of PT AJINOMOTO INDONESIA's Halal Management and provides motivation and pride for the company to continue meet the needs and expectations of society and customers as a top priority.
“We always support Indonesian families to create joy in cooking and eating together, which can also increase family closeness and increase enthusiasm for tomorrow. The application of amino acids which is our main focus can help create delicious food, support growth, development, recovery and support the physical health of Indonesian people. Through this, we believe that Indonesian families can grow up happy, healthy and will become a strong nation. We hope that all Indonesian families live healthy and happy lives, with Eat well & Live well”, concluded Matsumoto at the end of the conversation.