Comparative Evaluation of Quality and Metabolite Profiles in Meju Using Starter Cultures of Bacillus velezensis and Aspergillus oryzae
Foods. 2021 Dec 28;11(1):68. doi: 10.3390/foods11010068.
The production of good Meju soybean paste primarily depends on the selection of raw materials and fermenting microorganisms, which together influence its characteristic metabolites, taste, and aroma. In this study, we analyzed the relationship between properties and metabolites in Meju samples fermented by Aspergillus oryzae alone or with Bacillus velezensis. We developed fast-stable processing techniques to obtain Meju from A. oryzae and B. velezensis using the inoculation method, thereby ensuring safety in the production of soybean paste. The amino-type nitrogen content increased from an initial 180-228 mg% to a final 226-776 mg% during fermentation and was higher in Meju inoculated separately with the fungi and bacteria (C group) than in Meju co-inoculated with both the starters concurrently (D group). The levels of metabolites such as glucose, myo-inositol, glycerol, and fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids) in Meju fermented by A. oryzae with B. velezensis were higher than those in Meju fermented by A. oryzae alone. Fungal growth was affected by the inoculated bacteria, which often occurs during the fermentation of co-inoculated Meju.