sleeping beauty


We all have experienced seeing our vegetables getting wilted in the refrigerator, which were full of water and energy when we picked them up on the market. But after a few busy days when we finally want to use the vegetables, we find an altered appearance. Lifestyle has changed dramatically in terms of economic situation and our life has become busier and busier. Naturally both wife and husband work and there is less “housewife” archetype who can spend enough time for shopping everyday.

We all know how tasty it is to pick up vegetables from the market every morning and eat them, but this seems to be so called “daily luxury”. Also from the research data, more and more people are anxious about “lack of vegetables & fruits” in their daily life, they even take a smoothie instead of coffee on a daily basis, taking fresh vegetables is a big matter nowadays.

Recently I found two interesting directions for refrigerators, which have been developed by two home electronic companies in Japan.Both companies focus on “how to keep vegetables fresh in the refrigerator as long as possible” but come up with totally different answers.

HITACHI who is one of the leading companies for technology and social solution has introduced new technology for refrigerators.

To keep the vegetables “young and fresh”, their idea is to let vegetables sleep in the refrigerator like the story “ sleeping beauty”. They have collaborated with HOKKAIDO University to develop the platinum catalyst which works functionally even in the low temperature and to disassembly the Ethylene gas from vegetables and make carbon dioxide gas out of it.

It keeps the concentration of carbon dioxide gas in the space to let vegetables sleep and not loose their youngness, like a fairytale. If it would be compared with a fridge without this function, it will keep more than 90 % of water in the vegetable after “sleeping” without any wrapping for one week.The magic moment of sleeping beauty’s wake up is not by the kiss of a prince but when we open the refrigerator and eat.


On the other hand, there is another trial to keep freshness of vegetables done by MITSUBISHI ELECTRICS. To keep the vegetables fresh they focus on changes in the sun’s rays of the day and imitate the sunray’s change by using LED light. Starting with 2 hours in the morning, they use 3 colors, blue, red and green, and 10 hours in the daytime with red and green, and 12 hours of turning off. By making a change in the cycle of light in the refrigerator it succeeds in keeping the freshness of vegetables by utilizing the mechanism of photosynthesis. With the gentle smile of “sunshine” in the refrigerator, the vegetables continues to grow slowly as if they were still in the farm, and as a result, not only keeping freshness, but also succeeded in raising the amount of vitamins and sugar in the vegetables.

From this new development, we can read two important messages for creation. Nature is a great resource for innovation indeed and also fantasy has another function to think about things differently, and it is this combination that is our human being’s creativity.

Kaori Ieyasu – From Japan