The Japan Tofu Association is Japan's representative body of all domestic tofu producers.
Good Digestion and Absorption
Digestion and absorption of tofu is very good, and its nutritional value in terms of protein is evaluated according to volume and quality (amino acid composition).
The Basic Ingredient of Tofu
The basic ingredient of tofu is the soybean. The soybean yields one harvest per year in autumn, which tofu producers of Japan use 500,000 tons of such soybeans for their yearly tofu production. Of these 500,000 tons of soybeans, the USA produces 66%, Canada 14%, and Japan produces 18%. All soybeans presently used for the production of tofu of Japan are non-GM (non-genetically modified). The non-GM soybeans are always delivered to the tofu producers through Identity Preserved handling systems.
Tofu Production Techniques
Modern tofu production techniques are practically the same as the techniques used in the past.
The second phase of tofu production begins by adding coagulant to solidify the soy milk. There are six types of coagulants used in tofu production which can be divided into two groups; salt coagulants and acid coagulants. Salt coagulants include magnesium chloride and calcium sulfate, etc, refined from sea water, and acid coagulants include gluconic acid coagulants such as glucono delta-lactone. These added minerals such as calcium and magnesium perform important functions within the human body. Once mixed into the soy milk, glucono delta-lactone gradually changes to gluconic acid and solidifies the soy milk. Gluconic acid is an organic acid that acts in a similar way to oligosaccharides in increasing the bifidobacteria population in the gut, and is registered as an “Ingredient related to Foods for Specified Health Use (FOSHU)”. The property of gluconic acid (within tofu) which increases levels of butyric acid in the human body which is the power source of the large intestines has recently become widely popular.
Regular tofu is known as ‘Cotton’ (Momen) tofu, which is slightly broken down and placed into molds lined with cotton cloth to be pressed with weights to remove excess water. ‘Silken’ tofu is another variety of tofu which is produced by solidifying all of the soy milk, leaving a soft and fine texture.
The Origins of the Terms Silken Tofu and Cotton Tofu
Despite its name, Silken (Kinugoshi) Tofu is not strained through a silk cloth. The name is derived from its fine and smooth texture. The name of Cotton (Momen) Tofu is likewise derived from its rough texture.