> Korean Fermented Foods > Stories of Korean Source
The soybean, an ingredient
of soybean sauce, consists of 40% protein, 20% soluble
nitrogen-free extract, 14% fermentable sugar, 10% water,
5.5% ash, and 5.5% vitamins.
Traditional Korean soybean sauce is
made from soybeans only. The soluble carbohydrates contained
in soybeans, such as sucrose, stachyose, and raffinose,
are used by micro-organisms such as bacillus subtilis, lactic
acid germs, enzymes, and fungi while the soybeans are fermented.
Therefore, little carbohydrates remain in finished meju
The soybean is drawing attention as one
of the best health foods. The primary ingredient of soybean
paste, the soybean, is so rich in protein and fat that some
call it a garden meat. It is quite functional as well. In
particular, patients suffering from cardiac disorder can
safely eat soybeans because they contain plenty of vegetable
protein free of cholesterol.
Because of a low content of fermentable
carbohydrates, this fermented liquid diluted with brine
contains 0.7% lactic acid, but alcoholic fermentation rarely
occurs. Protein contained in soybeans is decomposed by protease
and peptidase, micro-organisms in fermented soybeans, so
the contents of peptide nitrogen and amino nitrogen are
very high. The content of glutamic acid is particularly
high. Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology funded
a "Study of the Mass Production of Traditional
Korean Soybean Sauce," a joint task of the Leading
Technology Development Project. It has now become possible
to make traditional soybean sauce with superior aroma and
taste, containing 1.0-1.2% nitrogen and 1% alcohol as a
result of complementing the alcoholic fermentation process
of soybean sauce.