Ganzan, a venture capital-backed company in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, has been formed to create processed food products. Their first project was to develop a process of converting persimmons unusable for the produce market into a puree-like syrup. Persimmons are widely grown in the area, but more than 10% of the crop, or about 600 tons, is discarded because they not meet the standards required for commercial sales despite being edible. The fruit is also difficult to process because it is easily bruised and soon becomes mushy. The company developed a process for turning the persimmons into syrup that overcomes these problems and results in a product that has body and retains the fruit’s distinctive aroma and flavor.