Soy sauce is a classic Oriental cuisine. Rich, thick and fragrant - without it is impossible to prepare the absolute majority of Asian dishes. He came to us with a love of Chinese and Japanese classical cooking and in a short time became popular in Russia. What is useful soy sauce, if he has any contraindications and what are the secrets of its use?
What is soy sauce and how is it produced?
Soy sauce is a product obtained in the fermentation process of mature evaporated soybeans mixed with wheat grains. There are two fundamentally different technologies for its production.
- The standard of preparation is the method of natural fermentation. But this method has one big disadvantage: it lasts from 6 months to 2 years. In the conditions of a huge demand for this product, natural aging becomes not always a permissible luxury. Therefore, accelerated fermentation is used commercially. For this purpose, Aspergillus fungus is added to the evaporated legume-grain composition (or to a similar dry mass). It is these microorganisms that cause the process of natural fermentation to get into the mixture from the air. Therefore, this method of producing soy sauce can be called natural accelerated. In this case, the fermentation proceeds quickly, and within a month or less the manufacturer has the finished product.
- Acid hydrolysis method is the second way to get soy sauce. It is even faster and, which is important for the manufacturer, a cheaper process. The soybeans are cooked in a mixture with hydrochloric or sulfuric acid, after which alkali is added to quench the acidic reaction.
- There is a third way to get the finished soy sauce - a dilution of the concentrate, obtained by one of the two methods described above. But even in the first case, it can no longer be called natural.
What soy sauce is good for health?
The benefits and harms of soy sauce - a question directly arising from the method of its receipt. The soy product produced by acid hydrolysis contains chemicals harmful to health. Obviously, such a product cannot be considered useful, to put it mildly. In particular, this sauce contains one of the most dangerous substances for humans - chloropropanol, which is the strongest carcinogen. In the body, it can cause the nucleation of cancer cells. Being formed in the process of chemical reaction, chloropropanol is removed with great difficulty from the finished product. Obviously, many manufacturers do not make much effort.
A soy product obtained as a result of natural, even if accelerated fermentation, is beneficial to human health in many respects. We will focus on them below. The composition of soy sauce prepared by this method does not include by-products, it does not form any harmful substances. At the same time all useful properties of natural soy are saved.
There is one more fundamental point that determines the benefits and harms of soy sauce. These are soybeans themselves. If soybeans grown using genetically modified technology (GMO) are used in production, then talk about the usefulness or harm of this sauce should be in a completely different plane. But we will not rank soy sauce, which contains genetically modified beans, as healthy food.
What is soy sauce good for?
- The composition of soy sauce includes a large number (about 20) of amino acids that are important and necessary for human health.
- High content of vegetable protein. Actually, first of all, for those who do not eat meat or are allergic to animal protein.
- The antioxidants contained in the sauce inhibit the aging of the body cells, support the balance of free radicals and reduce the risk of developing cancer. These properties of soy sauce are comparable to the properties of red wine.
- Recommended for patients with cardiovascular diseases due to the ability to thin the blood, which strengthens and facilitates blood flow in the vessels.
- The presence of phytoestrogens in the composition of soy sauce eases the symptoms associated with the menopause period in women. In particular, reduces the fragility of the bones. For young women, its use contributes to the painless flow of menstruation and facilitates PMS.
- Favors harmonious work of the nervous and endocrine systems due to the high content of choline and other B vitamins.
- Soy sauce is an excellent sedative. It helps normalize sleep, relieves headaches caused by fatigue and irritation.
- The low calorie content of soy sauce (50-70 kcal per 100 g) and the absence of "bad" cholesterol make it possible to use it in diets for weight loss. It is indicated for diabetes and obesity.
- Relieves the condition in case of muscle spasms, sprains and swelling of tissues, reduces the risk of occurrence. Maintains muscle tone.
- Useful for diseases of the joints and bones, in particular, arthritis and arthrosis.
- It helps with constipation on the background of dehydration.
- Does not need artificial preservatives.
Recall that all this applies exclusively to soy sauce, obtained by natural fermentation.
Tips on choosing and eating soy sauce
The choice of soy sauce, based on its usefulness, we discussed above. You should know that it is different in taste, although not critical. Determining the taste by the appearance of the product is quite difficult, but you can focus on its color and viscosity. The darker and thicker the soy sauce, the richer, sharper and sharper its taste will be.
Dark varieties of soy sauce are used to pickle meat, fish or poultry, as well as in the preparation of various dishes. You can recommend this sauce as a substitute for salt when cooking on the grill of champignons, since these mushrooms as a whole do not absorb salt well. It is enough to put the mushrooms in a bowl, pour over the sauce and mix well.
Light soy sauce is used as a dining seasoning or dressing. They are enriched with salads, ready-made fish, seafood and vegetables.
As for the gas stations, in which soy sauce is included as an additional component, it is acceptable to use both dark and light varieties. The same can be said about sushi, but more often in institutions it serves a dark, more saturated product.
When choosing soy sauce, pay attention to its composition, preparation method and price.
- If the cooking method is not listed on the label, you are most likely dealing with a chemical fermentation product.
- A long list as part of the product should also alert you and make you put the bottle back on the shelf without regrets.
- At the bottom there should be no sediment.
- And, of course, high-quality soy sauce cannot be sold at the price of ketchup or mayonnaise.
Soy sauce - an aid in the fight against obesity
Soy sauce is dearly loved by nutritionists all over the world for replacing not only salt, but also other seasonings that contribute to irritation of taste, appetite and, as a result, weight gain (mayonnaise, ketchup, butter, etc.). At the same time, the taste of food is not only not lost, but even intensified due to the presence of glutamic acid. Replacing salt, seasonings and dressings often brings familiar gastronomic hues to familiar dishes.
However, if you save on this product and acquire low-quality counterparts, then you can accumulate more problems. You should look at the amount of sodium salts in the composition. If you control your weight, give preference to low-sodium sauces.
Soy sauce is not for everyone!
Even natural soy sauce should not be used by everyone and without restriction. To whom it is not recommended in the first place:
- pregnant women due to the risk of miscarriage;
- persons prone to any allergic reactions;
- those who suffer from urolithiasis;
- with pancreatitis (even if there was a single case of an attack of this disease);
- with high blood pressure;
- children under three years old;
- in large quantities - all, especially men!
Thus, with the right choice and proper use of soy bean sauce, its effect on the human body is favorable. When buying soy sauce in the store, do not be lazy to read the label and do not be greedy when it comes to quality. Remember that if the label does not say about the natural origin, then in your hands you have a dangerous product! Armed with the knowledge gained, you can make the right choice and step towards your health.