164 b.c.

Fermented tofu


Before 1400 a.d.

Soy sauce


700 b.c.



722 b.c.



Before 1286 a.d.



Before 1750 a.d.



years ago. The history of soy sauce in China and Japan is summarized in Table 3 (5,8).

Country of Consumption

Soy sauce is produced and consumed mostly in Asian countries. Owing to progress in world trade, soy sauce is now consumed almost worldwide. In 1978, soy sauce was exported from Hong Kong, the Korean Republic, Singapore, and Japan to a total of 97 countries (7,8).


Different countries have different methods of preparing soy sauce. Even in Japan, there are five kinds of soy sauce: koikuchi, usukuchi, tamari, saishikomi, and shiro. The preparation of koikuchi soy sauce is outlined in Figure 1. The process includes (1) the treatment of raw materials, (2) koji making, (3) mash production and aging, (4) pressing, and (5) refining and pasteurization (8).

Treatment of Raw Materials. Cleaned soybeans or soybean meal is moistened (add 120-135% water) and cooked with steam under pressure. Wheat kernels are roasted at 170 to 180°C for several minutes and coarsely crushed into four or five pieces.

Koji Making. Equal parts of the resultant cooked soybeans or defatted soybean meal and roasted cracked wheat are mixed together and inoculated with 1 to 2% wt/wt of

Shu-Ching (700 s.c.f Chuc

Chiang (meat from fish, bird, or meat) Chi-Min-Yao-Shu (532-549 a.d.)° Chu (made from crushed wheat, or wheat flour made into balls or cakes, or cooked rice) Chiang (made from soybeans or wheat) Shi and Shi-tche Tang dynasty (618-906) Ben-chao-gong mu (1590)° Chiang-yu Tao-yu

Manyo-shu (350-759)° Koji (same as chu) Hishio (same as chiang, made from fish, meat, or soybean) Koma-hishio and miso

Taiho-law (701)° Soybean-hishio, miso, kuki same as shi), taremiso, usudare, misodamari Ekirinbon-setsuyoshu (1598)° Shoyu (same Chinese characters as chiang-yu) Honcho-shokukan

Shoyu, miso, tamari Industrial production of Koikuchi-shoyu in Noda (1561) and Chochi (1616), that of usukuchi shoyu in Sendai (1645); export of shoyu from Nagasaki, Japan (1668)

Source: Ref. 6. "Names of old references

Note: Chu: mold-cultured cereals; chiang: a mixture of chu, proteinous foodstuffs, and salt; shi: mold-cultured soybeans with or without salt; shi-tche: the saltwater extract of shi: chiang-yu: the liquid separated from chiang; tao-yu: the liquid separated from soybean chiang.

the seed koji or a pure culture of Aspergillus oryzae or A. sojae. This mixture, containing 45% water, is spread on larger perforated stainless steel or wooden trays to a depth of 30 to 40 cm and incubated in a room at 25 to 30°C with humidity control for 2 to 3 days. During this period, the temperature, moisture, and aeration are controlled to al-


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