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An ever-present name throughout East Asia, Tokyo-based Ajinomoto Co., Inc. is the global leader in the research and development of amino acids, a component of umami and the building blocks of all life. Ajinomoto’s presence is felt around the world through expansion of the potential of amino acids in a variety of fields, such as food products, animal feeds and fertilizers, sports supplements, advanced medicine and electronic material and natural amino acid-based cosmetic products that act in concert with the body’s natural chemistry.

Its annual sales of USD $12 billion worldwide are a testament to its influence. Over the past century, dating to its foundation in 1909, the name Ajinomoto has earned the trust of the public through a tradition of continuous progress, innovation and persistent excellence. But the foundation of Ajinomoto’s success in the field is research.

The company’s research and development division comprises more than 1,700 professionals in the fields of science, medicine, technology and pharmacology, spanning three broad areas of inquiry: Food, Bioscience Products and Fine Chemicals, and Pharmaceuticals and Health, with a focus on developing humectants, surfactants, emollients and functional powders for the cosmetics and personal care industries.

In 1972, the personal care ingredients market witnessed a small revolution with the launch of Ajinomoto’s AMISOFT®, the world’s first mild amino acid-based surfactant. Weakly acidic, safe for human use and highly biodegradable, AMISOFT enhanced facial cleansers, shampoos and bar soaps. Products containing this new material were powerful in use and gentle for the environment. To this day, AMISOFT’s natural biocompatibility makes it one of the industry’s safest surfactants. The era that Ajinomoto’s advanced amino science introduced continues to be led by Ajinomoto’s pioneering research and introduction of numerous beneficial amino acid-derived materials for the global market.