Kikkoman, the world’s top selling soy sauce, has experience working with soy ingredients and soy fermentation, while NIZO’s expertise includes lactic acid bacteria technologies.
The Japanese company wanted to create the new product, but needed a lactic acid strain capable of fermenting soy bean and providing a specific taste.
NIZO was identified as a partner who could provide dairy-derived strains with natural selection techniques to select strains that grow well on soy beans without adversely affecting taste.
Patent applied for
The R&D collaboration resulted in Kikkoman's current application for an international patent. The two companies have concluded an exclusive licensing agreement for the NIZO-derived strains used in the fermentation.
Kikkoman told DairyReporter the product is called "Kikkoman Tonyu-inryo" (Kikkoman Soy Milk Beverage), although they stressed that there is no official English name for the product or flavors.
Flavors include tonyu (soy milk) lassi, ichigo (strawberry) lassi, mango lassi. Kikkoman gave as an example “Kikkoman Tonyu-inryo Tonyu Lassi" (product name + flavor name).
The product will be sold in Japan only in 200ml paper cartons, from August 21, 2017, with a suggested retail price of 100 yen/$0.89 (excluding sales tax).