How we make our tofu
We’re really proud of our state of the art factory in which we now make our tofu. We will tell you about the process we use because even if it is a new factory we still do make our tofu in the exacting way that tofu has traditionally been made.
Each and every shipment of soy beans comes with a certificate of origin so we can verify the very strain of soybean we are purchasing. In New Zealand we’ve got pretty strict rules about these sorts of things. All our suppliers now use the International Best Practice System: Identity Preserved.
The process starts with whole soybeans. We use either organic or conventionally grown soybeans. We don’t use any genetically modified soybeans. The soybeans are placed into our amazing soymilk machine which hold the beans overnight while they are soaked, grinds them into a paste, separates out the fibre then cooks the remaining milk with steam to a 100 degrees Celsius.
Once out of the machine the milk goes straight into curding barrels where we add a coagulant to the milk. The coagulant is mixed with water and poured ever so slowly into the soymilk while the tofu maker stirs the milk. We use a small quantity of a Calcium Salt and this process turns the soymilk into a big curd. It’s the same way they make cottage cheese.
After the curd has set for a while we break it up releasing the whey. The whey is mostly water but it also contains some of the less valuable soybean components like the hard to digest soybean sugars.
Then we ladle the curds into cheese clothes (fine muslin cloth) placed inside stainless steel forming boxes. The richness of the soymilk, the type and amount of coagulant and the way curds are handled at this pressing stage determine the texture of Tofu which can vary from very silky smooth to firm. Firmer Tofu is generally much more nutritious as it contains more protein and less water.
The cheese clothes are folded carefully over the curds and then the stainless steel lid of the forming box is squeezed down onto the curd. Holes in the box allow the whey to drain away. Longer harder pressing makes for firmer Tofu and vice versa. After pressing the big cakes of Tofu are removed to the rinse tank. Here they are cooled by water and any excess whey and coagulant are washed out.
Next the Tofu is sliced into cakes of various sizes. Here small cakes are being place in vacuum pouches ready for vacuum packaging and pasteurising. And some is taken away to be included into our new sausages after careful mixing with delicate fresh herbs.
Final step for the vacuum packed Tofu. Sealed packets are lowered into a thermostatically controlled cooker for pasteurising. This ensures quality remains intact until you open the packs at home. Our plant and manufacturing methods are regularly audited by health authorities and supermarket auditors to ensure you receive the best possible product from us.