MANILA, Philippines — After waging a campaign to detect vinegar products that contain harmful acetic acid, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) is now moving to uncover fake soy sauce colloquially called toyo.
DOST-PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Application Section head Raymond Sucgang said that after the agency finished testing vinegar products being sold in the market for containing harmful synthetic acid, they are now readying to test soy sauce products.
“We’re now moving toward other condiments. We’re moving now toward toyo,” Sucgang told The STAR.
The DOST-PNRI official noted that the test would seek to identify which brands are real fermented soybeans and which are just toyo flavoring.
“That’s because we have different types of toyo. There’s toyo that is real toyo. There’s also toyo that is just toyo flavoring. There’s toyo flavor and there’s patis (fish sauce) flavor toyo,” he said.
The toyo flavoring products are just brine, according to Sucgang.
With the identification of real toyo from toyo flavoring, the DOST-PNRI hopes that there will be proper labeling and pricing of soy sauce products.
Real soy sauce is produced from the fermentation of soy beans for a period of several weeks, while there are inferior quality soy sauce produced hurriedly by just boiling soya beans and then using acids to speed up the process of fermentation or to break up the soya and produce soy sauce in a day or a few days.
Sucgang said the project would seek to push soy sauce manufacturers to properly label their products, unlike in the case of their previous campaign to identify vinegar that contain harmful synthetic acid.
He added, though, that there have been no studies done to check if this rushed process of producing soy sauce or acid hydrolized soy protein has harmful effects.
The DOST-PNRI used isotope techniques in their effort to detect the adulteration in condiments, initially vinegar, and now toyo.