The miso fermentation occurs in a manner similar to that of soy sauce, in that the hydrolysis of complex macromolecules to form simple nutrients and the subsequent fermentation and metabolism of those nutrients occurs essentially at the same time. As it does with soy sauce, the koji serves both as the source of proteolytic and amylolytic enzymes, as well as a substrate source for those enzymes.About 50% of the total protein and 75% of the polysaccharides are completely hydrolyzed to amino acids and monosaccharides, respectively. Because miso is made from whole soy beans, the lipid portion (about 3% to 10%) is also present in the miso mash. Fungal lipases (from the koji) hydrolyze triglycerides to di- and monoglyc-erides, glycerol, and free fatty acids. The latter may accumulate to high levels (as much as 1% to 3% in the miso). Collectively, the amino acids, sugars, and fatty acids provide a rich source of nutrients for fermentative organisms.

In traditional miso manufacture, a miso seed culture, obtained from previous raw miso product, is used to initiate the fermentation.Al-though many small manufacturers continue this practice, miso starter cultures are now often used, especially by large modern manufacturers. These cultures ordinarily contain yeast strains of Z. rouxii and C. versatilis, along with T. halophilus, P. acidilactici, L. delbrueckii, and other lactic acid bacteria. Fermentation of sugars present in miso results in the use of glucose and other free sugars and the formation of several organic acids, including lactic, acetic, and

Whole soy beans 1

Soak 16 hours

Steam/autoclave for 0.5 hour 1

Rice (or barley)

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