Soybean can be made into stinky tofu with peculiar odor and attractive aroma by using traditional methods such as point halogen and natural fermentation. Stinky tofu is a magical existence for Chinese people. Lovers love it deeply and haters hate it deeply.
As a fermented soybean product, stinky tofu not only has vitamin B12 produced by microbial fermentation, but also avoids the nutritional loss caused by protease inhibitors, plant erythrocyte agglutinin and other anti-nutritional factors when eating soybean directly. It also decomposes some proteins into amino acids, which helps vegetarians to supplement high-quality protein and vitamin B12. However, in recent years, stinky tofu has become a target of public criticism, eating stinky tofu on the streets caused by disease incidents frequently appeared in the newspapers. Street stinky tofu is often fried, salty and hot, but why can it cause serious consequences?
Conversion from Fermentation to Corruption
Suitable temperature, humidity and strains are essential for the smooth fermentation of stinky tofu. It takes months to make brine soaked in tofu by traditional methods. This long production cycle makes illegal vendors anxious, focusing on "chemical blending brine" with short production cycle and low cost.
Generally speaking, the most common chemicals used to make "chemical blending brine" are ferrous sulfate (industrial green alum), sodium sulfide and borax. The water solution mixed with ferrous sulfate and boric acid can make the tofu soaked in it quickly stain the dark black of iron sulfide (produced by the reaction of ferrous sulfate and boric acid), and produce a strong odor; borax can increase the toughness and brittleness of tofu, prolong the shelf life; sodium sulfide can be degraded in the air, continuously releasing hydrogen sulfide gas, which is used to increase the odor. In order to prepare such "chemical blending brine", a large number of "authentic stinky tofu" can be obtained by soaking tofu in it for several hours. Its nutritional value and taste can not be compared with the stinky tofu made by traditional fermentation technology, and it is very harmful to human health. We can only call it "corrupt food".
Firstly, there are many health problems in the process of making stinky tofu with blended brine. Simple immersion can not guarantee the type and quantity of bacteria in brine. It is very possible to introduce a large number of miscellaneous bacteria to breed and corrupt. Even if the high temperature of frying kills most of the bacteria, the toxins produced by the bacteria are difficult to kill. If one-time ingestion of excessive toxic residues of stinky tofu, it is likely to lead to liver and kidney damage or failure.
Secondly, ferrous sulfate, borax and sodium sulfide are not food additives. They are not allowed to be used in food production. It is illegal to add them to stinky tofu brine. Long-term or one-off excessive intake of ferrous sulfate can stimulate the respiratory and digestive mucosa, causing abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, general weakness, headache, and even shock or cancer. Borax has the functions of bacteriostasis, disinfection and antisepsis. It is used in wound disinfection and inflammation treatment in clinic. However, the Food Safety Law forbids it to be used in food production. Excessive borax intake in a short time can cause accumulative poisoning of multiple organs in human body, and has been proved to be a carcinogen.
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