ASTRA, based in Fukushima Prefecture, has been committed to technological innovation in automatic peeling machines for over 20 years.
The company has received several awards for its automatic peeling technology, including the Kitchen Innovations Award in 2018, the Touhoku New Business Award in 2019, and the 14th Nippon New Business Creation Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence in December 2019.
Hirotaka Ichijo, ASTRA’s CEO, was born into a kaki (Japanese for persimmon) farming family in Fukushima, Japan. Having peeled tons and tons of persimmons since childhood, he always thought that manual peeling was tedious and inefficient. When he was older, his mother bought an automatic peeler. The machine worked well for a while, but it took a toll on his mother’s body and she broke her shoulder. It was at this point that he decided to manufacture a peeler that would truly help people, including his own family.
The development of the persimmon peeler was not a smooth road, and it took overcoming numerous difficulties over a period of more than 10 years for the peeler to finally reach its success. Today, the ASTRA persimmon peeler is the machine with the largest market share in Japan.
Later, ASTRA applied its peeling technology and began manufacturing peeling machines that could peel a variety of fruits.
ASTRA’s mission to eradicate hand peeling from the world has only just begun!