KOREAN BLACK BEAN PASTE-WHAT MAKES IT SO BLACK?

Soybeans fermented with flour, salt, caramel color. is it simply the fermentation process? black garlic comes close in blackness; any other fermented food? anyone know the chemical reason? thx so much.

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LE B. January 30, 2020
dear lori, plse come home with me!!! th.u soooo much!
 
Lori T. January 30, 2020
Black beans contain high levels of something called anthocyanins - which gives fruits and veggies dark red, purple or black color. Black beans happen to be very high in this type of flavonoid in their seed coat - that outer cover. The Korean variety of black soybeans is also particularly higher in a few different types of it as well. Anthocyanins are heat and pH sensitive - and will leach out in acidic liquids to leave you with pale versions of the food. Even though the mixture won't be heated, the fermentation process itself will leach color as the pH drops into the acidic range. So many of the fermented black bean pastes will contain either the caramel coloring or black food coloring. Which, oddly enough- is derived from the skins of other black beans. Black garlic gets that color due to a Maillard reaction, where the sugars garlic contains are heated until they brown- rather than the fermentation process itself, or flavonoids in the skin such as the black beans contain. As a rule, black isn't a color you want to see during fermentation at all- it usually means things have spoiled or oxidized. I'm sorry I can't give you more of a chemical answer than this- but the explanation gets really heavy duty for this sort of forum. If you really want to know more about the chemistry, look up info on anthocyanins and flavonoids.
 
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