Why You Should Store Soy Sauce In A Glass Bottle

Soy sauce is a utility player of ingredients. It can be a condiment that comes in little packets accompanying your favorite Chinese food order, a meat marinade, or an additional layer of flavor cooked into our favorite dishes and recipes. Better Homes & Gardens describes this dark liquid as offering a "savory" element at its most basic, but explains there are several types of soy sauce for various uses. Some offer "sweet" and "tangy" notes for the palate, adding that umami flavor that is so closely associated with this sauce.  

Eater reveals soy sauce has been a part of the culinary world for at least 2,000 years, and while there is a variety to choose from when it comes to this sauce, it is traditionally made with a combination of soy beans and wheat, and is infused with a bacteria culture that helps this mixture ferment. Concha Y Toro notes humanity has been at the fermenting process for a long time. While the first containers used for fermenting wine were of the clay amphorae or terra cotta variety, the world quickly found wood and stainless steel containers can also do the job. Today, foods that are canned or fermented, per The Cultured Foodie, are largely stored in glass bottles and jars. Sure, there are some fermented products that might be sold in plastic containers, but those sold in glass containers fare far better, especially when it comes to soy sauce. Here's why. 

Permeable vs. Impermeable

According to Epicurious, when it comes to how you store your soy sauce, the type of container matters. The food site shares that how soy sauce is stored and the type of container it is stored in can effect its quality. Storing your soy sauce in the refrigerator will prolong its shelf life, according to the experts, but that's not the only way to keep soy sauce fresh with each use. Yamasa explains once a bottle of soy sauce is opened and exposed to air, oxidation occurs, altering the smell, color, and taste. 

However, Epicurious says storing soy sauce in a glass container over a plastic container can hinder the oxidation process. Beer and Brewing elaborates, noting this is because glass doesn't allow air to pass through it where as plastic does. The Journal of Food Science and Technology also did its own study on "the effect of packaging material and storage temperature on the flavor profiles and quality of soy sauce" and concur that while temperature played the dominate role in keeping soy sauce fresh, glass bottles are better when it comes to soy sauce storage. Through their study, researchers found soy sauce stored in plastic bottles had a "weak sorption of flavor compounds." So, the next time you are out shopping for soy sauce, opt for that sold in a glass bottle.