HYOKAN: Innovative cooling solution presented in Euskadi

Promoted by SAIOLAN, European ORHI project leader, on 21 November 2019 a day was held in Markina to present a refrigeration solution that keeps food fresh longer than other conventional solutions.
The key to the solution lies in its ability to keep products at temperatures below zero (to -7°C) without freezing the product. This is achieved through a high-voltage, low-intensity electric field that generates a subtle vibration that prevents food water molecules, flowers, etc… assemble into large macromolecules that, when formed, damage neighbouring tissues and are the cause for which, during subsequent de-icing, a little water with substances specific to the food (proteins, blood, etc.) and modify its flavor, texture, etc… This phenomenon is avoided with HYOKAN.The solution is offered by the Japanese company HYOKAN SUPPLY, through two types of products:
  • Industrial refrigerators, mainly for restaurants
  • Refrigerated rooms for fruit and vegetable producers and distribution companies
HYOKAN's industrial refrigerator

HYOKAN’s industrial refrigerator

HYOKAN's refrigerated room

HYOKAN’s refrigerated room


The presentation was made directly by the director of the company HYOKAN, Mr. Hirotaka Sakakibara, who explained the differential advantages of its solution and showed references of companies in Japan who use it (more than 1000 installations in Japan to date).

Hirotaka Sakakibara

Hirotaka Sakakibara présentant sa solution (avec l’aide d’Eduardo Peña pour la traduction)


He pointed out that the solution offered two types of differential values:

  • Prolong the conservation of fresh products.
  • Improve the taste of products by their maturation.

As an example, Mr. Hirotaka Sakakibara showed the case of a Japanese agricultural producer growing corn. There, corn cobs are often eaten fresh. After about 4 days, the fresh ear dries and is no longer suitable for consumption. After the establishment of the refrigeration chamber of HYOKAN, the Japanese agricultural producer observed that the ears of corn preserved at HYOKAN ripen in such a way that over time, even weeks, the taste improves.

He is currently selling ripe ears to HYOKAN at a higher price than fresh ears. It went from a dry product that you don’t pay for, to a mature product that the public pays more for.

As Mr. Sakakibara-san said, this innovation offers a paradigm shift on food culture and a valuable alternative to avoid food waste and move towards a circular economy.

Mr. Sakakibara-san mentioned that sushi restaurants that have installed their industrial refrigerator in their kitchens have achieved savings of 80 € per day on average in their purchasing management.



Food samples submitted by LEARTIKER

Food samples submitted by LEARTIKER


As part of the ORHI project, HYOKAN has lent demonstration equipment to SAIOLAN to carry out experiments to evaluate its solution. The equipment arrived one week before the presentation day at LEARTIKER, Centre for R&D in Food Technology, partner of this day.
Six days earlier, LEARTIKER introduced a variety of foods into a conventional refrigerator and the same type of food into HYOKAN’s demonstration equipment. At the end of Mr. Sakakibara-san’s presentation, all participants were able to visit the LEARTIKER laboratories and see the HYOKAN demonstration equipment in situ. Naia Andonegi, head of LEARTIKER Alimentation Technology, exhibited the stored food in both equipment. Although only six days had passed, the best storage of the products in HYOKAN’s equipment was remarkable for the naked eye, especially for leaf products (lettuce and spinach).

The test has been extended by a week and we are waiting to see the photos of the last days, although Naia Andonegi confirms that the difference is becoming more and more evident.

A total of 25 people, representing companies in the hotel, meat, fish production and processing sector, participated in the day; as well as manufacturers of refrigeration equipment for the food sector.

For further information, please contact Iratxe Acha (SAIOLAN) at : iacha@saiolan.com

The ORHI project was co-financed 65% by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain-France-Andorra programme (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The objective of the EFPOCA is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the border area Spain-France-Andorra. Its assistance focuses on the development of cross-border economic, social and environmental activities through joint strategies for sustainable territorial development.