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Foods High in Kojic Acid

by
author image Jill Dombrauckas, Ph.D.
Jill Dombrauckas currently writes for a biotech company in San Diego. Her work is published in scientific journals such as Biochemistry and medical websites such as Genetic Engineering News and Medical News Today. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton and Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Foods High in Kojic Acid
Soy sauce is high in Kojic Acid. Photo Credit ffolas/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Kojic acid and its derivatives are small molecule compounds isolated from the fungus Aspergillus oryzae. These organic compounds exhibit antibacterial and antifungal properties and possibly anti-inflammatory characteristics, but more data is needed to confirm. Kojic acid also acts as both antioxidant and bleaching agents in cosmetic creams. Kojic acid has a natural preservative effect when added to various food products. The isolation and use of kojic acid originated in Japan in 1907 and still remains in several common items in the Japanese diet.

Miso

Foods High in Kojic Acid
Bowl of miso soup. Photo Credit whitetag/iStock/Getty Images

Miso soup is a common starter dish for Japanese meals. The main component of miso soup is dried soybean paste that you dilute in hot water. Soybean paste contains a high level of kojic acid.

Soy Sauce

Foods High in Kojic Acid
A dish of soy sauce. Photo Credit ffolas/iStock/Getty Images

Shoyu, otherwise known as soy sauce, consists of high concentrations of kojic acid and its derivatives. Kojic acid helps to preserve the flavor and shelf life of soy sauce. Soy sauce can be used directly on rice, sushi, meat, or fish or it can be used to make a sauce or marinade.

Sake

Foods High in Kojic Acid
Cups of hot sake. Photo Credit whitetag/iStock/Getty Images

Sake is an alcoholic beverage that has been distilled from rice. To make sake, kojic malt is used in the fermentation process. Sake typically contains higher alcohol content than wine or beer and can be served hot or cold.

Food Additive

Kojic acid has been used to prevent discoloration of vegetables, meats and crustaceans. It can also be added to boost flavoring and preserve taste. To be certain which food products have kojic acid present, check the list of ingredients on the back of the package.

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