I have visited another soy sauce factory before, but it did not leave an impression on me.
I was pleasantly surprise how systematic and well run Kikkoman soy sauce factory is. Kikkoman has factories in many countries - in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, US and NZ.
Those of you who have bought sushi would have noticed that the little packet of soy sauce they used is normally from kikkoman.
Its history dated back to over 300 years ago in Noda, Japan. The factory in S'pore is established in 1984. It is able to churn out 13 thousand kilolitres of sauce per year. It produces other types of sauce such as teriyaki, those for sashimi and sushi....
Kikkoman uses top grade soy bean and wheat (other manufacturers may not include wheat in their process). Even the salt is sea salt. Their secret is their proprietary micro-organism used in the fermentation process. It takes at least 6 months to produce a bottle of soy sauce due to the fermentation process.
The manufacturing process :
- The wheat and soy beans are mixed and given heat treatment.
- Fermentation micro-organisms are then added to form the Koji culturing.
- Salt and water are added to Koji to form Moromi mash which is left to ferment for 6 months.
- The matured mash is pressed to extract raw soy sauce which is then heated.
(the pressed cake is sold as animal feed to farms in S'pore and Malaysia)
- The refined soy sauce is send for laboratory testing.
- It is then pasteurized before bottling.
The factory hygiene, safety and quality control process are faultless. What a contrast to the 1st soy sauce factory I visited. Think I will switch to using kikkoman sauces after this.