Miso is a traditional food that has supported the dietary life of the Japanese people for more than 1,300 years.
While it is a basic seasoning that represents Japan, it is also a fermented food created by the activity of microorganisms.

About Miso

Types of miso

Miso can be largely categorized into four types: rice miso, barley miso, soybean miso, and blended miso.
Approximately 80% of miso currently produced in Japan is rice miso.

Classification of miso

About the taste of miso

Miso flavor is created in a complex combination of sweetness, saltiness, umami, sourness, bitterness, and astringency.
To create a delicious bowl of miso soup, the components of the flavor must be in harmony with each other, in quality and quantity.
Sweetness, umami, and saltiness are explained below.

Sweetness of Miso

Starch in the rice is broken down by amylase in the koji. A higher rice koji content will result in a sweeter miso.
When miso is allowed to age for a long time, the sugar content is consumed by the yeast and lactic acid bacterium. If the sugar content is dramatically reduced, it creates a so-called "dry" state.

Aging and Umami

Umami of miso is influenced by amino acids (mainly glutamic acid) formed when the soybean protein breaks down. The umami increases with aging. Umami is not formed solely by glutamic acid, but formed when saltiness, sourness, and sweetness are blended together, and a good aroma and moderate viscosity are added.
As aging progresses and the soybean continues to break down, the stimulation felt on the tongue softens, and the miso develops a broader and richer taste.

Saltiness of Miso

Miso that is extremely salty in the early stages of preparation loses some of its saltiness as it matures.
This phenomenon, in which the saltiness perceived by the tongue decreases even through the salt concentration does not change, is called "shio-nare", and is the result of the sour and umami components. Lactate, peptides, and amino acids are all substances that cause "shio-nare".

Additive-free Miso

Additive-free miso is prepared without adding alcohol to the kuradashi miso (miso removed from the aging tank). It is directly filled into the container.
The container may expand during the distribution process, since the yeast activity continues and promotes fermentation.