Product characteristics

The final chemical composition of soy sauces depends on the specific type being produced (Table 12-2). In general, the greater the proportion of soy beans, relative to wheat, the greater will be the total nitrogen concentration. Conversely, products made using higher levels of wheat will contain less nitrogenous material, but more reducing sugars. Thus, shoyu tamari, which is produced mainly from soy beans, contains nearly four times more total nitrogen, but six times fewer reducing sug-

Table 12.5. Beneficial effects of pasteurization on soy sauce.

• Enhances color formation via the Maillard non-enzymatic browning reaction

• Inactivates enzymes

• Kills microorganisms

• Accelerates precipitation of protein complexes

• Concentrates anti-fungal agents (phenols and organic acids)

• Concentrates flavor compounds (phenolic compounds, aldehydes, pyrazines, ketones, and other organic compounds)

ars, than shiro, a type of shoyu made from wheat with very few soy beans.The amount of nitrogenous material and reducing sugars, as reflected by the wheat-to-soy bean ratio, has a major influence on color. Soy sauce products containing greater levels of wheat are generally more light-colored and products containing more soy beans are dark-colored. Shiro, therefore, has a more tan appearance whereas tamari has a dark red-brown color.

The final composition of soy sauce depends on the specific type and the manufacturer's specifications. In general, soy sauce contains (on a weight/volume basis) about 1.5% total nitrogen, 1% sugars, 1% lactic acid, 2% to 2.5% ethanol, and 14% to 18% salt.The pH is usually between 4.5 and 4.8. Due to the association of high salt diets with hypertension and other human health problems, there has been a considerable effort to reduce the salt concentration in soy sauce products. Among the strategies that have been considered are the use of salt substitutes, salt removal systems, and manufacturing modifications (Box 12-1).

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