Volatile compounds in Bacillus-fermented soybeans

A. Leejeerajumnean, S.C. Duckham, J.D. Owens, Jennifer Ames

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81 Citations (Scopus)


Thua nao, a traditional, proteolytic, fermented soybean condiment of northern Thailand, was prepared from cooked whole soybeans by natural flora fermentation. The microbial flora during the fermentation was dominated by Bacillus species. The formation of volatile compounds during the fermentation was studied. In addition, the volatile compounds of two samples of commercial dried thua nao and two samples of commercial Japanese natto were analysed. Fermentation led to a large increase in the concentration of total volatile compounds, from 35 mug kg(-1) wet weight in cooked soybeans to 3500 mug kg(-1) wet weight in 72h fermented material. The major volatile compounds in fermented beans were 3-hydroxybutanone (acetoin), 2-methlybutanoic acid, pyrazines, dimethyl disulphide and 2-pentylfuran. Sun drying of 72 h fermented material resulted in the loss of 65% of total volatiles, including important aroma compounds. The commercial dried thua nao samples had low concentrations of total volatile compounds (380 mug kg(-1) wet weight). It is suggested that improved drying/preservation methods are needed to retain aroma compounds in the traditional products. The natto samples were devoid of aldehydes, aliphatic acids and esters, and sulphur compounds, whereas the thua nao samples contained a diversity of these compounds. Previous investigators have reported these compounds in natto and it is not possible to suggest the existence of systematic differences between the volatile compounds in traditional thua nao prepared with an undefined, mixed microbial flora and those in natto fermented with Bacillus subtilis. (C) 2001 Society of Chemical Industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-529
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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