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Feb 21, 2009 11:57 AM

Artificially Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce

I just started reading about how many soy sauces that are available in the markets are actually not naturally fermented and are instead artificially hydrolyzed to extract the flavor and then caramel colors are added to bring back the color. I was wondering if anyone knows how you can tell if a soy sauce is naturally fermented or if it is chemically processed (apparently artificially hydrolyzed soy leaves discoloration on the bottle because of the added caramel coloring). There are a lot of health hazards (i.e. cancer) associated with consuming these chemically processed soy sauces and many have been taken off the shelves (mostly ones from China and Vietnam) in the UK and abroad.

Here's an article from wikipedia that explains all of the different types of soy sauce out there (and there are MANY) including info about artificially vs. naturally processed:

Thanks for the input!

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  1. Welcome to food of the masses where people eat poison all day long. Some say naturally fermented on them, I still wouldn't trust some of those. Read the boards, maybe even a CITY board rather than home cooking. NYC, SF might have threads(they do, I know it) of better brands though I am not sure if all are not total poison but it is an item you probably should be paying up for if you have to. I am certainly not an expert on all brands but I have known about this and avoid mass soy sauce because of it.
    Good luck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dietndesire

      Thanks... I use Yamasa which is not completely commercial and says naturally brewed on it, but what that means, I'm not so sure anymore.

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      1. re: kushnerom

        Try that, probably are other posts, too.
        Y, just reading naturally brewed is not enough. Large food companies lie, blatantly, and are allowed to. Not much in the way of standards these days.

        1. re: dietndesire

          One thing I've noticed between Kikkoman (which is supposed to be natural) and the cheap hydrolyzed stuff is that kikkoman has an actual aroma, while the cheap stuff has virtually no smell.