Japanese food processors Nichirei Corporation said it has developed a way to make the calcium-rich bones within fish – the bane of finicky eaters everywhere – edible.

Inspired by children who are increasingly rejecting national fish dishes because of the presence of bones, the company’s researchers say they have patented a secret method of preparing fish that makes fish bones soft and edible.

The company says it can apply its special method to any type of fish preparation including broiling, baking and frying. It hopes to have the first products on the shelves at the end of this month and is aiming at sales of ¥5bn (US$45.0m) in the first three years.