AI proves the deliciousness of farm-raised bluefin tuna. “AI Bluefin Tuna Takashima” Sales

ISSUED : 2023.3.15

“Natural” and “farm raised.”
We normally see these labels indicating the origin of tuna at supermarkets and sushi restaurants. For some reason, natural tuna sounds fresher and tastier…
Because of that image, store prices for natural tuna can be as much as ten times higher than for farmed tuna.
However, when you think about other food items besides seafood, most vegetables and livestock products are “farm-raised,” so to speak. So, what are the differences in taste and quality?
A project to develop and demonstrate a new AI model has been launched at Sojitz Tuna Farm Takashima to unlock the deliciousness of farmed tuna.


TUNA SCOPE AI technology‘s further evolution: TUNA SCOPE can examine fat content to select raw bluefin tuna

Up to now, TUNA SCOPE has mastered the selection of yellowfin and bigeye tuna and has been introduced at various sites in Japan and overseas.
Next, the technology set its sights on becoming an expert on bluefin tuna.Unlike yellowfin and bigeye tuna, which contain relatively little fat, the value of bluefin tuna depends not only on the quality of the red meat but also on its fat content.Evaluating quality on these two different points is said to be an extremely difficult task, even for professionals with years of experience.Also, unlike quick-frozen tuna, the cross-section of a raw tuna tail is uneven, and the slightest difference in the surface can change the appearance of the cross-section.To develop a new AI model that could take on the challenge, a huge amount of training data is required.

This is why we focused on Toyosu Market, Japan's largest wholesale seafood market, where highly rare bluefin tuna selected by expert middlemen examiners is sold daily.With the cooperation of these Toyosu middlemen, we built a system that continuously collects and transmits cross-sectional images of the bluefin tuna tails that line the market every day, as well as the examiner results. This became our real-time AI training data.

After about two years of data collection, an AI quality judgment algorithm based on the two points of “fat content and red meat quality” was created through trial and error.

A “bluefin tuna-compatible” TUNA SCOPE developed and introduced to an aquaculture farm in Takashima.

In March 2023 in Takashima, Nagasaki Prefecture, the new TUNA SCOPE AI model was launched at Sojitz Tuna Farm Takashima.Unlike natural bluefin tuna, the growing conditions of farm-raised ones are strictly controlled based on years of experience and knowledge, which includes the feeding amount and timing, water temperature, and other factors.As the tuna is caught and prepared one by one, this means that there is almost no variation in quality or freshness, and a stable supply of delicious tuna is readily available throughout the year.

TUNA SCOPE’s AI judgment technology was introduced into the processing and shipping of the farm-raised tuna.Even among the stable quality farmed tuna, only those judged to be of the highest quality, especially in terms of both fat content and red meat quality, are labeled “AI Bluefin Tuna.”

The destination of the AI Bluefin Tuna is Toshin Suisan Ogikubo Souhonten, a large supermarket in Tokyo's Ogikubo Station.The final judges of the farmed bluefin tuna are Tokyo consumers, as they are extremely particular about the taste of tuna.


Proving the deliciousness of farmed-raised with AI: What is the reputation of the “AI bluefin tuna” sold in Tokyo?

For some reason, natural tuna seems like it would taste better…
Farmed tuna tends to have that sort of impression.What was the reaction of Tokyoites to the high-quality farmed “AI Bluefin Tuna Takashima” backed by AI technology?

AI bluefin tuna cutting show held in a glass-partitioned cooking area.A larger than usual number of customers gathered around.The world’s first bluefin tuna raised by humans and selected by AI.The sales floor was abuzz with people, attracted by the intriguing announcement.

In a survey of purchasers, 94% of respondents said, “I wanted to try it more compared to regular tuna.” 96% replied, “I have high hopes for AI quality judgment in the future.”
In an additional survey of post-meal customers, one respondent commented, “It was so good and made me feel that the age of AI has arrived. I could taste the evolution of technology,” expressing how they were pleasantly surprised by TUNA SCOPE. Another commented on their confidence in AI judgment’s reliability by saying, “I was skeptical at first but was impressed by the taste. Tuna is expensive, but there is no standard for judging when buying it. So, I sometimes regret my choice after eating it. I am looking forward to being able to choose tuna with the AI certification mark.”

A future where farmed tuna becomes more acceptable to the world through the power of technology.It is a world in which everyone can eat delicious tuna at a reasonable price, regardless of environmental factors such as poor catches.Also, the AI for raw tuna developed through this project is expected to be further improved and used in tuna trading in developing countries. While taking on various social issues, the evolution of AI will continue.