Being Filipinos, soy sauce is definitely one of the most important condiments we use. Most of us use it as an ingredient; and many of us utilize it as dip or sauce. As famous as it can get, there actually are fraudster companies who create and make fake soy sauce and then they sell it out in the market.
After conducting a campaign to detect vinegar products that contain hazardous and health-toxic acetic acid, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNR) is now taking action to uncover fake soy sauce also known locally as the famous and ever-popular toyo.
Read: Five (5) Vinegar Brands With Synthetic Acid Named by the FDA
After the agency got into accomplishing the assessments and examinations in the vinegar products that are sold in the market for containing hazardous synthetic acid, they are now clearing the stage to examine soy sauce products which are also available at the local market.
Raymond Sugcang, DOST-PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Application Section head said that they are currently slowly moving towards the clearing of other condiments that are widespread sold in the market. He adds that the won’t stop until they unearth all fake and counterfeit products that can potentially endanger the lives and the safety of the Filipino community.
We’re now moving toward other condiments. We’re moving now toward toyo.”
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Different types of soy sauce
The problem roots from the simple fact that the market is a haven for these fake soy sauce products because there are tons of other variants that compose and make up the toyo we now know today.
In addition to that, Sugcang, the DOST-PNRI official said that the examination would look into determining the brands that have and contain “real fermented soybeans” from brands that just have toyo flavoring.
That’s because we have different types of toyo. There’s toyo that is real toyo. There’s also toyo that is just toyo flavoring. There’s toyo flavor and there’s patis (fish sauce) flavor toyo.”
Read: Five (5) Unregistered Food Products, Tagged by the DFA
What are fake soy sauce products made of?
According to Sugcang, the toyo flavoring products are just brine or water that is strongly mixed with salt. This creates the illusion that the soy sauce is legitimate when in actual reality, it’s not.
With the difference and identification of real toyo from those that are just toyo flavoring, the DOST-PNRI is expecting that there will be proper labeling and pricing of soy sauce products.
This can help in the distinction of real from the counterfeit products that are looming the market. The said project would seek to require soy sauce manufacturers to properly label their products; unlike the case of previous campaigns to determine vinegar that contain harmful synthetic acid.
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There have been little-to-no researches or studies done to prove and check if this rushed process of producing soy sauce or acid hydrolyzed soy protein has bad effects for the consumers. What we’re sure of is that the components; the ingredients they utilize are not natural, which can have side effects we never want to experience.
The DOST-PNRI utilized isotope and strategical techniques in their processing to detect the adulteration in different condiments out in the market; initially vinegar, and now, soy sauce or toyo.
What can you do?
Figuring out whether or not the soy sauce we have at home is indeed legitimate could be a challenging task. In fact, you would have to perform certain lab testing to see if the soy sauce you have is made from real, fresh products and ingredients versus those that are feared in the market.
The stocks in the market increase their prices gradually; this is so because they need to assure the consumers that the products will be safe for every individual especially because they are mostly used in food. The DOST-PRNI will do everything and will test every condiments that every Filipino family usually use.
Read: Thousands of School Children in the Philippines, Hit with Dangerous Food Poisoning
In our part, we need to check the legitimacy of the brand of the condiment we are purchasing. In most and usual cases, unknown and small brands have the risk of being subject to this. We are not pointing fingers or we’re not jumping into conclusions; based on observation and experience, that’s how these work.
Brands play a huge and critical role in the legitimacy of whatever product is out in the market. If it’s expensive, chances are it’s real because they would need that price to offset and for them to make profit; cheap products, on the other hand could be dangerous.
So let’s wait for the list of these fake soy sauce products that are duly being sold in the market!
Source: The Philippine Star