Koji mold (Aspergillus oryzae)
Takagi, Shinobu Novozymes Japan Limited, Mihamaku, Chiba, Japan.
- Koji mold
- Koji production: solid-surface fermentation
- Mystery of origin
- Production of industrial enzymes
- Host organism for enzyme production
- Recent progress on genomics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A mold that is one of the most widely used fungi in industry. Especially with regard to the Japanese way of life, Aspergillus oryzae, a type of koji mold, is quite indispensable, being an essential substance of traditional foods and beverages such as miso (soybean paste), shoyu (soy sauce), and sake (rice wine). Koji, the culture of koji mold on soy, rice, or wheat, is mixed with the substrate and together they are fermented to produce foods. This tradition has been followed for at least 500 years in Japan. Such a long history of food use suggests that koji mold is safe enough to apply in various industrial processes. In addition to its safety, koji mold has the attractive feature of possessing a high ability to produce a variety of natural enzymes. This article describes the application of koji mold for traditional use in food manufacturing as well as its application for industrial enzyme production, which recently has utilized modern gene technology. See also: Fermentation; Food fermentation; Food manufacturing; Food microbiology; Fungal biotechnology; Fungi; Soybean
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