Manufacture of miso

Miso and related products are manufactured much like soy sauce, except for one major difference. In miso manufacture, dry salt, rather than a brine, is added directly to the koji-soy bean mixture.Therefore, the resulting product has approximately twice the total solids of soy sauce (50% to 60% versus 24% to 28%). The process starts with the manufacture of a koji (Figure 12-4). As noted above, the koji substrate can be rice, barley, or soy beans.The rice (usually polished rice is used) or barley is soaked in water overnight at 15°C, then steamed in a batch or continuous cooker. After cooling, a tane koji (or a spore culture), containing strains of A. oryzae and A. sojae with defined properties, is used as the inoculum (at 0.1%). The koji is then incubated at 30°C to 40°C for forty to forty-eight hours in fermentation chambers equipped with aerating devices.

The soy beans (usually yellow soy beans are used) are similarly prepared, first by sorting and soaking and then by cooking under pressure (0.5 kg/cm2 to 1.0 kg/cm2) for about fifteen to forty-five minutes. At this point in the process, the cooked soy beans are ground or extruded, then mixed with the koji and salt in automated mixing machines. Alternatively, the whole cooked soybeans, koji, and salt can be mixed, and then the entire mixture is mashed. This mashing step is performed using an extrusionlike device that grinds the mixture to a chunky homogenous paste. The mixture is transferred to large tanks or fermentors (stainless steel or epoxy resin-lined steel) with capacities of 1,000 kg to more than 100,000 kg. Depending on the type of miso being made, the salt concentration may range from 6% to 13%.

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