The Difference Between MUSO's & Commercialized Soy Sauce

The Difference Between MUSO's & Commercialized Soy Sauce

MUSO has long offered only natural, traditionally produced soy sauce. As mentioned before, not all soy sauce sold in food stores is traditionally brewed. Within the last fifty years, a number of "innovations" in soy sauce manufacturing have been introduced and are now widely used within the industry. These changes have drastically altered the nature and quality of the product itself. MUSO's commitment to time tested techniques distinguishes its products from that of other manufacturers. The three major differences: ingredients, chemical additives, and brewing time are discussed below.


MUSO uses only natural, high quality ingredients for its soy sauce. These include whole soybeans, wheat (except in Tamari), sea salt, Koji-Seed, Kosen(except in Shoyu) and water. Today, most manufacturers use what is called "defatted" soybean, versus whole soybeans. Defatted soybean is soybeans which have had the oil extracted from them. The use of defatted soybeans in soy sauce production began during WWII during a soybean shortage. Today, commercial producers are continuing to use defatted soybeans because they are less expensive, easier to transport, and allow for quicker fermentation. These oil extraction processes, which produce soybean pulp, are usually done with chemical solvents. This technique depletes the bean of its flavor and considerable nutritional content. As a direct result of this process, soy sauce made from defatted soybeans contains a quarter the amount of glycerin, less ethanol, and contains more organic acid compared to MUSO's soy sauce.

By contrast, in order to maintain the highest quality, MUSO's soy sauce has the soy oil extracted at the end of the manufacturing process. During the manufacturing process, with whole soybeans (not defatted), soy oil is broken into lipid acid and glycerin. Lipid acid, which has no flavor, floats on the surface of the soy sauce and is eventually removed. Glycerin, on the other hand, possesses a sweet flavor and dissolves during a long fermentation period. Therefore, MUSO's soy sauce not only possesses a higher nutritional value, but also has a deeper, sweeter flavor than commercialized soy sauce.

In terms of Tamari, commercial manufacturers often include small amounts of wheat since it is much easier to start the Koji-Seed with wheat than with 100% soybeans. MUSO, on the other hand, adds no wheat but Kosen to the manufacturing of its Tamari. Kosen is added to Koji-Seed then inoculated to soybean. Since the work of Koji-seed is very sensitive and strongly affects to the aroma and flavor of finished product, Kosen is also carefully selected based on its compatibility with Koji-Seed. Kosen is made from barley. Barley is roasted with high temperature then smashed and screened until it becomes fine smooth powder. These are examples of the unique approaches in the ingredients used in manufacturing MUSO's soy sauces.

Chemical Additives

No chemical additives are used for MUSO's soy sauce at any stage of the manufacturing process. MUSO strongly adheres to the tradition that there is no place for chemical additives in the making of any quality food product. Most modern soy sauce manufacturers today use chemical additives during the manufacturing process to quicken the fermentation time and to give a richer flavor and color. In addition, it has become an industry practice to cut corners by using lower quality ingredients, which need the addition of agricultural chemicals.

Brewing Length

In addition to the use of defatted soybeans, many of today's soy sauce producers incorporate the use of artificial temperature controls during the fermentation process. As a result, there is a disruption in the natural course of fermentation. Because of the warmer temperatures, the favored bacterial cultures in traditionally aged soy sauce are overcome and replaced by different cultures with higher rates of metabolism. Soy sauce made under these artificial conditions can be completed within a period of three to four months. Consequently sufficient time is not allowed to achieve the genuine flavor and aroma of natural soy sauce.

MUSO's soy sauce, on the other hand, uses no artificial temperature control during the fermentation process. Therefore, the length of fermentation for MUSO's soy sauce requires the traditional 18 to 24 months. Furthermore, MUSO's soy sauce is fermented in cedar kegs; techniques rarely practiced anymore since these barrels are no longer produced. The effectiveness of cedar kegs for fermentation of soy sauce is usually compared to western wine fermented in oak barrels. By using cedar kegs, various microorganisms such as lactic acid, yeast, etc. are generated during the fermentation and make the taste, texture, and aroma of MUSO's soy sauce distinctly superior to other commercialized soy sauce.


Fermentation process

Soy beans       Brown rice Koji


The Kegs

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