How Fermentation Works to Preserve Food and Punch Up Flavors
Last October, American food professionals visited fermented food producers to deepen their knowledge of Japanese fermentation culture during the “Hakko Tourism in Japan” tour campaign. As part of the tour, organizers held a tasting session where guests gave candid advice from the perspective of the American market to food product manufacturers looking to enter the United States market.
Since people don’t hibernate, we need to feed ourselves every day. In the past, this meant contending with harsh winters where food was less readily available. Even today, certain items are only available in particular seasons. Prehistoric humans needed to think long and hard about procuring food. Some, in times of desperation, probably even resorted to eating less-than-fresh foods that may have given off unpleasant odors. It was a game of trial and error at the time, with losers falling ill. The winners, though, were perhaps unknowingly taking the first steps onto the path toward fermented foods as we know them.
As fermentation geeks probably know, preventing food from spoiling means inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Controlling bacteria means striking the right balance between temperature, moisture, salt content and pH levels.
Fermentation means flavor
Source: 『Nihon no dento. Hakko no Kagaku. Biseibutsu ga Umidasu Umasa no himitsu』Harushi Nakajima
Takashi Sato, founder of Hakko Hub and President of San-J International, is an 8th generation soy sauce brewer. With a passion for excellence, he has elevated tamari soy sauce production to new heights. Dedicated to tradition and innovation, Takashi is shaping the future of fermented foods.