Quality / R&D Business

Years of Soy Sauce Research Behind Kikkoman's New Product

January 1, 2014

In September 2013, Kikkoman released "Mamechikara-Soybean Peptide Soy Sauce," a product developed as a result of the company's continuous research into the properties of soy sauce. It is the first soy sauce in Japan to be granted approval as Food for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU).

The soy sauce brewing procedure is an extremely complex and carefully balanced process of making koji (mold), fermentation and maturation. Mamechikara is based on a soybean peptide* produced during the soy sauce brewing process which alleviates the activity of certain enzymes that raise blood pressure. In the normal brewing method, most soybean peptides are fully converted into amino acids, and are barely present in regular soy sauce products. In its development of Mamechikara, Kikkoman for years studied the brewing conditions that would achieve high soybean peptide content and the correct balance of the enzyme action of koji while still maintaining the taste of Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

Kikkoman conducted studies, not only of soy sauce as a product itself, but also on its traits and functions during the brewing process. Through trial and error, working onsite at its brewery, Kikkoman was able to achieve large-scale production of the soybean peptide. Kikkoman has now finally brought Mamechikara to the market. Mamechikara, when substituted for regular soy sauce, has been shown to help moderate the enzymes which raise blood pressure, and is being targeted at individuals with blood pressure concerns.

FOSHU refers to food products that have been approved to indicate their potential to achieve specific health purposes when used in the daily diet. Only those products proven in effectiveness and safety, and which have undergone government inspection and approval, are permitted to bear the FOSHU seal.

Soy sauce is one of Japan's traditional seasonings, and has long been an essential element in the country's unique food culture. Working with innovative technology in response to contemporary needs, Kikkoman continuously researches soy sauce and its properties to uncover its potential. Through ongoing research, development and production, the company aims to deliver new value-added products while enriching the lives of consumers in the fields of both food and health.

Mamechikara-Soybean Peptide Soy Sauce
  • *Soybean peptide: Chain of several amino acids, obtained from breaking down soybean protein using the effects of koji.