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Regarding inquiries regarding “Beni Koji” as red Koji:

Our products use rice koji as a raw material. Our rice koji is classified as yellow Koji. We do not use red Koji.

What is Koji?

Koji is prepared by adding koji mold to steamed grains (rice, barley, soybeans, etc.).
It is then carefully cultured in warm, humid conditions that promote propagation.
Koji mold spores are just 3 to 10 μm (micrometers) in size.
* 1 μm = 0.001mm.

Koji mold is certified as the "National Mold" of Japan!

In 2006, the Brewing Society of Japan designated koji as "a valuable asset carefully nurtured and used by our ancestors," and certified koji as Japan's "national mold". Ancient people recognized koji mold from among various molds as valuable, and used it for miso, soy sauce, Japanese sake, etc.

koji imageScientific name: Aspergillus oryzae
Japanese name: Nihon koji kabi
Uses: Miso, soy sauce, refined sake

Types of Aspergillus

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Yellow koji mold
(Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus sojae)

Mainly used in the production of miso, soy sauce, and refined sake.
The spores are yellow, light green, or yellowish brown.

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White koji mold
(Aspergillus kawachii)

Mainly used in the production of shochu. The spores are brown.

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Black koji mold
(Aspergillus iuchuensis)

Mainly used in the production of “awamori” (Okinawa liquor).
The spores are blackish brown.

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Red koji mold
(Monascus genus)

Used in the production of tofu-yo, Chinese red wine, and Shaoxing wine. This mold produces bright red koji.

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Bonito mold
(Aspergillus glaucus)

Use in the production of katsuobushi (dried bonito).
This mold absorbs residue moisture from the katsuobushi, produces umami components, and breaks down fats and oils.

Types of Koji

Rice koji image
Rice koji

(Ingredient: Rice)

Ingredient for rice miso, Japanese sake, mirin, vinegar, and amazake.

Barley koji image
Barley koji

(Ingredient: Barley)

Ingredient for barley miso and shochu.

Soybean koji image
Soybean koji

(Ingredient: Soybeans)

Ingredient for soybean miso.

How to make rice koji

Enzyme of Koji and its function

What are Enzymes?

Koji contains many enzymes. The role of enzymes is to break down the nutrition in food, and aid in digestion and absorption. They also help in converting absorbed nutrition into energy.
Koji is said to contain more than 30 types of enzymes including amylase, protease, lipase, and pectinase. Koji is a treasure trove of enzymes. Since it can generate vitamins beneficial for women and aids in digestion, it has gained popularity in the beauty and health fields.

Function of enzyme of koji

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Breaking Down Nutrients

Enzymes break down nutrients so they can be easily digested and absorbed. They create amino acids that produce umami, and aids in the tenderizing of food.

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Aids Digestion

Amylases found in koji breaks down starch into glucose, and proteases break down protein into amino acids. Foods are eaten after the nutrients have been partially broken down by the enzymes, so nutrients are easily digested and absorbed in the body.

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Drink Lactic Acid Bacteria for Energy!

Good bacteria, such as lactic acid, love the oligosaccharides and dietary fiber* produced by koji enzymes. They consume these substances and produce more good bacteria.
*Dietary fiber is a component originally found in the koji.

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Vitamin Production

As the bacteria metabolizes, it releases vitamins necessary for skin metabolism, such as vitamin B1, B2, B6, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, and inositol.

Knowledge of koji
Why does koji make meat tender?

The pressure required to cut pieces of chicken, beef, and pork that have been marinated in shio koji for 30 minutes at 86F was measured using a stress rupture test.
Compared to meat that had not been marinated in shio koji, the pressure required to cut the chicken and beef was 38% less, and 18% less for pork.
* Stress rupture test ... Measurement of pressure needed to cut meat.

Basic usage of Koji

Shio Koji
Fluffy Marinated Fish
Fluffy Marinated Fish
Approx. 1 tbsp. per slice of fish

Lightly coat the fish with shio koji, and let marinate for 30 minutes to overnight. Lightly wipe off the shio koji before cooking.

Tender and Juicy Meat
Tender and Juicy Meat
Approx. 10g per 3.5 ounce of meat

Lightly coat the meat with shio koji, and let marinate for 20 to 30 minutes. Lightly wipe off the shio koji before cooking.

Rub Vegetables with Koji for
Quick Pickles
Rub Vegetables with Koji for Quick Pickles
1 to 2 tbsp. per 3.5 ounce of vegetables

For cucumber pickles, rub koji all over the cut vegetable for approx. 15 minutes.

Shio koji burn easily.
Carefully wipe off the koji grains, and cook over low heat to prevent burning.

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