Despite the high salt concentration and relatively low pH, growth of spoilage organisms in miso can occur, resulting in gas, off-odors, over-acidification,and surface slime.Yeasts and bacteria responsible for these defects include Hansenula and Z. rouxii, Pediococcus acidi-lactici, and Bacillus sp. Spoilage is more likely to occur when salt levels are reduced (<12%) or when the koji molds are inhibited. Pasteurization, either before or after packaging, inactivates these organisms. However, as indicated above, many consumers prefer raw, nonheat-treated miso.
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