U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Chemical and sensory characteristics of low molecular weight fractions obtained from three types of Japanese soy sauce (shoyu) -- Koikuchi, tamari and shiro shoyu

Lioe, H.N., Wada, K., Aoki, T., Yasuda, M.
Food chemistry 2007 v.100 no.4 pp. 1669-1677
umami, ultrafiltration, soy sauce, molecular weight, salt content
Three typical forms of Japanese soy sauce (shoyu), koikuchi, tamari and shiro shoyu, can be differentiated, primarily due to their different compositions of soybeans and wheat used for their productions. To evaluate and compare the chemical characteristics of the low molecular weight (MW) fractions of three types of shoyu with their sensory data, gel filtration fractions of ultrafiltration products with MW less than 500 Da (F-500) were subjected to chemical and sensory analyses. The results showed that salty and umami tastes were characteristic of all F-500 fractions, however, the umami taste intensities of those of koikuchi and tamari shoyu were found to be twice as large as that of shiro shoyu. After separation by gel filtration, it was found that the tastiest fractions of the three types of shoyu were those containing sodium salt, free l-glutamic acid and most other free amino acids, especially sweet taste-eliciting amino acids, at concentrations above their thresholds. In some umami fractions of koikuchi and shiro shoyu, that predominantly contained salt and phenylalanine but had a relatively low free l-glutamic acid content, a potential synergistic effect among free l-glutamic acid, salt and phenylalanine was obvious. This first report offers new insights into soy sauce research.