What’s the Difference?

There are countless varieties of soy sauce produced around the world. Let us look at the distinctions between Kikkoman Soy Sauce, chemically produced soy sauce and Chinese soy sauce.


Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Chemically Produced Soy Sauce

In honjozo, the traditional Japanese brewing process used to make Kikkoman Soy Sauce, enzymes naturally break down soybean proteins. Hydrochloric acid is used in chemically produced soy sauce: it does not undergo any form of fermentation and is generally manufactured within several weeks.

Traditionally brewed soy sauce, the result of the honjozo process, has a clear reddish-brown color, and is well balanced in terms of flavor and aroma.


By contrast, chemically produced soy sauce usually has a cloudy, dark color; its taste is unpleasant and strong, and its chemically produced aroma is obvious.

As a result, the color, flavor and aroma of chemically produced soy sauce are not natural—they are created artificially using corn syrup, salt, caramel coloring and other additives. It is no wonder that this completely synthetic soy sauce is inferior in every way to traditionally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Chinese Soy Sauce


Here we explain the differences between Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Chinese soy sauce.

Types of Chinese Soy Sauce
There are two types of Chinese soy sauce: dark and light.

Dark Chinese soy sauce is very deep in color with high viscosity, and it contains additives such as caramel coloring and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Light Chinese soy sauce has a lighter color with lower viscosity. In general, this soy sauce contains MSG and other additives used to control its strong saltiness.

Differences between Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Chinese Soy Sauce
The major differences between Kikkoman and Chinese soy sauce can be found in their ingredients and fermentation methods. In terms of ingredients, Kikkoman Soy Sauce uses wheat, which creates the aroma of soy sauce. Chinese soy sauce utilizes wheat flour and bran, which significantly weakens the aroma of the soy sauce. Wheat is indispensable to Kikkoman Soy Sauce’s rich aroma, which stimulates the appetite.

Kikkoman Soy Sauce utilizes microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria and enzymes in the fermentation process. These are the particular elements that produce the full-bodied flavor and rich aroma unique to Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

Chinese soy sauce undergoes very little fermentation; it has both a weak aroma and flavor owing to the lack of this fermentation, and to cover these defects, MSG and other additives are used.

Both of these products are called soy sauce—yet the two are completely different, not only in flavor and aroma, but also in terms of their ingredients and production processes.