2. 特集
  3. Japan Harvest 2019 Special Panel 日本の国菌 麹菌! Koji -Japan’s National mold!



Japan Harvest 2019 Special Panel 日本の国菌 麹菌! Koji -Japan’s National mold!

Japan Harvest 2019 Special Panel 日本の国菌 麹菌!発酵食品を生み出す微生物達

Koji – Japan’s national mold! Bacteria which produces fermented foods

Microorganisms exist everywhere on the planet. There are many harmful ones and only the limited number of bacterias are useful. Those selected excellent bacterias produce fermented foods.

Microorganisms involved in fermentation are mainly divided into 3 types(3 groups).

◆Group of mold:
⇒Japanese koji mold
⇒Soy sauce mold
◆Group of yeast:
⇒Sake yeast
⇒Soy sauce yeast
⇒Beer yeast
◆Group of bacteria:
⇒Natto bacteria
⇒Lactic acid bacteria
⇒Acetic acid bacteria


Mold Yeast Microbes poison poison poison

When crops such as rice and soybean are steamed, filamentous mold grows and koji mold is produced. Japanese koji mold soy sauce koji mold.

Fungus which is smaller than mold grow and eat sugar and decomposes.
Sake yeast
Soy sauce Yeast
Beer Yeast
Nihonshu, soy sauce, beer, bread

The bacteria which is more smaller than all fungus grow at a faster speed than mold and yeast.
Natto bacteria
Lactic acid bacterium
Acetic acid bacterium
Natto, Yogurt, Cheese, Vinegar

In 2006, Brewing Society of Japan acknowledged Koji which represents bacteria in Japan to be the National mold.
Koji(Aspergillus oryzae) is essential for traditional Japanese fermented foods. In Japan, there are not only the famous fermented foods such as miso and soy sauce, but also a variety of fermented food culture have been developed in various local dishes.

To the micro world

Mt Aso 1500m ⇒ 1/1000 ⇒ Human 1.5m ⇒ 1/1000 ⇒ Small ant 1.5mm(※Image of 1/1000)

①Group of meter ⇒ whale 25m ~ 30m / elephant 5m / human 1.5 ~ 2m
②Group of millimeter ⇒ cicada 20-30mm / large ant 5mm/ small ant 1.5-2mm
③Group of micrometer ⇒ Human cell 25μm/ Koji spores, yeast bacteria 10-5μm / bacteria 1.5-2μm