Hama Natto Food Procedures

Natto is a Japanese product based on fermented whole soybeans. Generally the product is dark with a pungent and harsh character. It is eaten with boiled rice, as a seasoning or as a table condiment in the way of mustard.

There are three types of natto in Japan.

Itohiki-natto from Eastern Japan is produced by soaking washed soybean overnight to double its weight, steaming for 15 min and inoculating with Bacillus natto, which is a variant of Bacillus subtilis. Fermentation is allowed to proceed for 18-20 h at 40-45°C. Polymers of glutamic acid are produced which afford a viscous surface and texture in the final product.

Yuki-wari-natto is produced by mixing itohiki-natto with salt and rice koji and leaving at 25-35°C for 2 weeks.

For hama-natto, soybeans are soaked in water for 4 h and steamed for 1 h, before inoculating with koji from roasted wheat and barley. After 20 h (or when covered with green mycelium of A. oryzae), the material is either sundried or dried by warm air to about 12% moisture. The beans are submerged in salt brine containing strips of ginger and allowed to age under pressure for

Table 14.4 Types of miso.

Base material

Colour

Taste

Time of fermentation/ ageing

Rice

Yellow-white

Sweet

5-20 days

Rice

Red-brown

Sweet

5-20 days

Rice

Light yellow

Semi-sweet

5-20 days

Rice

Red-brown

Semi-sweet

3-6 months

Rice

Light yellow

Salty

2-6 months

Rice

Red-brown

Salty

3-12 months

Soybeans

Dark red-brown

Salty

5-20 months

Barley

Yellow-red-brown

Semi-sweet

1-3 months

Barley

Red-brown

Salty

3-12 months

Based on Fukushima (1979).

Based on Fukushima (1979).

up to 1 year. The surface microflora contributing to enzymolysis and flavour development includes Pediococci, Streptococci and Micrococci.

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