THE RAW MATERIALS OF SOY SAUCE ARE SOYBEANS, WHEAT, AND SALT

The appealing and unique color, flavor, and fragrance of soy sauce are generated by the fusion of the soybeans, wheat, and salt that are the main raw materials. The taste is mainly from soybean proteins, and the fragrance is mainly from wheat starch, created as the microorganisms work on each ingredient. The characteristic color comes from the combination of amino acids, obtained from proteins, and glucose, obtained from starch. The salt suppresses the action of destructive microorganism that cause food to decay. lactic acid bacteria and yeast, which can function despite the salt, take the lead as the ingredients interact through a gradual and time-consuming process of fermentation and maturation that complete delicious soy sauce.

Soybeans and defatted soybeans
Soybeans and defatted soybeans

The proteins that are the main ingredient of soybeans are broken down by the protein-breaking enzyme protease from the koji mold, to produce the amino acids that are the umami constituents of soy sauce. Defatted soybeans retain the proteins that are essential for the soy sauce manufacturing process, but have had the unnecessary fats removed in advance.

Wheat
Wheat

The starch that is the main constituent of wheat is converted to glucose by the action of the enzyme amylase from the koji mold, generating sweetness and depth. The glucose is further changed into organic acids such as lactic and acetic acid by lactic acid bacteria. These soften the saltiness and bring together the taste of soy sauce. Part of the glucose is converted to alcohol by the action of yeast, heightening the fragrance.

Salt
Salt

Salt is dissolved in water to be added at the shikomi ingredient blending stage, and is the base of the salty taste. It also has an important role in suppressing putrefactive bacteria and other destructive organisms, to leave the valuable microorganisms, koji mold, lactic acid bacteria, and yeast, free to work.

THERE ARE THREE BREWING METHODS FOR COMMON SOY SAUCE, THE MOST POPULAR TYPE

Common soy sauce is the most widely used of the soy sauce varieties nationwide. The main manufacturing methods are honjozo (regular fermenting method), kongo jozo (semi-fermenting method), and kongo (mixing method). The main one of these is honjozo, the traditional method, which accounts for approximately 80% of production. Other methods are kongo jozo, in which amino acid fluid and other ingredients are used in brewing to produce a unique savory taste, and kongo, which mixes amino acids etc. to shorten the manufacturing time. In these ways, soy sauce producers add new technological ideas while maintaining old traditions, to make products that are always of stable quality.

Common soy sauce - Honjozo (regular fermenting method)

The traditional way of making soy sauce. Steamed soybeans (defatted soybeans) and toasted wheat are mixed in roughly equal proportions and koji mold spores are added to create koji. The koji is placed in a tank with brine to create moromi, which is left to rest for around six to eight months, with repeated stirring. Breakdown and fermentation proceed through the action of koji mold, natural yeast, lactobacillus and other microorganisms, and further maturation produces the distinctive color, flavor, and fragrance of soy sauce.

THE MANUFACTURING METHODS ARE DIFFERENT
FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOY SAUCE.

Five types of soy sauce are currently produced in Japan: The typical common soy sauce, and the light color, tamari, refermented, and extra light color types. Each of these has a different scent and taste, and they have various manufacturing methods.

pagetop