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Features of Kikkoman Soy Sauce

Kikkoman Soy Sauce is produced from carefully selected ingredients: its fine aroma is composed of roughly 300 different components, while its well-balanced mix of the five basic flavors satisfies the palate.

Kikkoman users around the world know that this seasoning enhances not only Asian cuisines, but Western dishes as well. This is proven by the fact that Kikkoman Soy Sauce is requested in more than 100 countries.

Here is what makes Kikkoman Soy Sauce so special.

1. Color

Unique clear, reddish-brown color

The superb color unique to soy sauce is the result of the “Maillard Reaction”, which begins two or three months after brewing starts. In this reaction, glucose and other sugars combine with amino acids to produce a brown pigment called melanoidin, which gives soy sauce its beautiful color.

Soy sauce grows darker owing to oxidization when it comes in contact with air. Storage at lower temperatures inhibits this color deterioration, and so we recommend that you store Kikkoman Soy Sauce in the refrigerator once the bottle has been opened.

2. Flavor and Umami

Harmonious Combination of the Five Basic Flavors

In Japan, soy sauce has been cherished for centuries as an indispensable part of Japanese cuisine.

Why is Kikkoman Soy Sauce the seasoning of choice around the world today?

Because of its taste.

The harmonious combination of the five basic flavors sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, and the subtle balance between them gives Kikkoman Soy Sauce its delicious taste.

Umami: The Fifth Flavor

Soy sauce is particularly rich in naturally produced umami components that are generated during the brewing process. These umami components are composed of about 20 different amino acids produced as the koji mold dissolves the proteins contained in the soybeans and wheat.

Learn more about Umami

3. Complex Aromatics

During the brewing process that takes several months, roughly 300 different aroma components are produced, including those of flowers, fruits, whiskey and coffee. Every one of these 300 components occurs in such minute amounts, they cannot be identified; yet together, they create the exceptional and distinctive aroma unique to Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

The aroma of roasted soy sauce stimulates the appetite. It is this aroma that has made Kikkoman Soy Sauce the select seasoning around the world.

4. Legal Grading System of Soy Sauce in Japan

In the Japanese market, soy sauces are graded by the level of total nitrogen/protein level under the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS). The grade of soy sauce indicates the level of umami in it.

GradeTotal NitrogenProtein
Special Grade > 1.50 > 9.38
High Grade > 1.35 > 8.44
Standard Grade > 1.20 > 7.50

Now, let’s check Kikkoman Soy Sauce:

Kikkoman Soy Sauce contains 10g of protein in 100ml. Kikkoman Soy Sauce is definitely categorized as “Special Grade” soy sauce.

How to Check the Quality of Soy Sauce

At the supermarket, the quality of soy sauce can be checked even before you buy it!

First, simply compare the nutrition facts labels, especially the protein amounts. Generally speaking, higher protein content is better for soy sauce.

Second, check the ingredients list. Kikkoman Soy Sauce is made from only four natural ingredients: water, soybeans, wheat and salt. Sometimes other brands have seven or more ingredients. Why? It is because they need more ingredients to make their products cheaper and the taste acceptable.

In conclusion, better soy sauce can be found by looking for high protein content and a shorter ingredients list on the label.

At the table, soy sauce manufacturers test the quality of soy sauce by three aspects: color, taste and aroma.

Am Tisch testen die Hersteller von Sojasauce die Qualität mit Hilfe von drei Kriterien: Farbe, Geschmack und Aroma.