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Examining the Critical Point of Soy Sauce Halalness

The term soy sauce in Indonesia is used for soy sauce products, sweet soy sauce, fish sauce and English soy sauce.However, if you only mention soy sauce, then what is meant must be sweet or soy sauce (soy sauce). (HalalMUI)

The sweet and salty soy sauce that we commonly use comes from soybeans and wheat that are fermented for months using microbes that can break down proteins and carbohydrates into simpler components.The microbes involved in making soy sauce are the mold type Aspergillus, yeast Saccharomyces and also the bacteria Bacillus and Lactobacillus.

The manufacture of soy sauce starts from the fermentation of koji. Koji is a mixed culture that uses soybeans and wheat as the medium.The soybeans to be used are boiled first to soften the tissues, while the wheat is roasted at a high temperature.Then a starter consisting of Aspergillus mold is added and allowed to grow for several days.

Fermentation is then continued by salt fermentation or better known as moromi fermentation.Into the finished koji solution, a saline solution is added in a ratio of 1: 1 or 1.5 depending on the need.This fermentation lasts for 6 to 9 months until soy sauce (semi-finished soy sauce ingredient) is produced. (HalalMUI)

This soy sauce still consists of liquid and residual solids.Therefore it needs to be filtered to separate the liquid from its solids.In some places, this separation is accompanied by boiling to remove the soy sauce components that are still left in the residual solids.

This liquid is then heated or pasteurized to stop the entire fermentation process and kill the microbes that cause damage and rottenness.The next stage of the process is the addition of spices according to the desired taste.Brown sugar is added to the manufacture of sweet soy sauce.

The whole process can last between 7 to 10 months, depending on the fermentation conditions and the type of raw material.Also, the temperature and humidity that affect fermentation need to be controlled to produce high-grade soy sauce. (HalalMUI)

Seeing that the process of making soy sauce is so long and complicated, sometimes entrepreneurs do not good engineering.For example, by adding soy sauce flavorings, adding coloring materials, even though the fermentation process has not been completed.In addition, there are those who make a cheap version of soy sauce with raw materials for acid hydrolyzed vegetable protein. ‎ ‎

Traditionally, in making soy sauce, various other ingredients can be added to add flavor and aroma such as animal bone marrow, chicken head, fish head, sometimes even animal blood.The existence of these bones is actually not a problem if the bones entered come from halal animals and are slaughtered halally as well.However, bones of unclear origin and blood can cause problems in the halalness of food. (HalalMUI)

From these possibilities, consumers need to be careful in choosing soy sauce for their daily needs.Do not choose soy sauce because of price considerations alone, because it is not impossible that cheap soy sauce is of poor quality. In addition, soy sauce that has a taste and aroma that is too extreme, such as being too savory or there is a fishy taste, it is necessary to be aware that the soy sauce is added with animal ingredients that must be observed for halalness.

If you don’t want to bear the risk of consuming soy sauce that is not clear about its halalness, it will be safer if we choose packaged soy sauce that has been certified halal. (***)

Source: Jurnal Halal, 120

(HalalMUI)

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