In mid-January 2004, a team of journalists of the “Weekly Quality Report” program from the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) investigated the production of the Hongshuai Soy Sauce. The Chinese journalists went to the food seasoning manufacturer in Hubei province. They pretended to be buyers and enquired about the soy sauce ingredients. They were told by a manager that the soy sauce was made from the amino acid syrup, and mixed with water, sodium hydroxide, red sugar; hydrochloric acid and other chemical additives...They also learnt that the soy sauce manufacturer purchased at least a thousand tons of amino acid syrup (or powder – the dry form) per month from another manufacturer in producing few thousands tons of soy sauce.
As a result of the preliminary investigation, the journalists decided to explore the source of amino acid syrup. The journalists then found the amino acid syrup manufacturer (a bioengineering company) in Hubei province. When asking how the amino acid syrup (or powder) was generated, the manufacturer replied that the powder was generated from human hair. Because the human hair was gathered from salon, barbershop and hospitals around the country, it was unhygienic and mixed with condom, used hospital cottons, used menstrual cycle pad, used syringe, etc. After filtered by the workers, the hair would then cut small for being processed into amino acid syrup. [http://tinyurl.com/cjv9v]
Human hair makes an alternative to soybeans because it contains the amino acids that give the sauce its flavor. Some say Chinese soy sauce makers who use hair as an ingredient are posing a cancer risk because of the powerful chemicals they use to extract the amino acids from human hair.
Chinese soy sauce manufacturers say they want to continue making human hair sauce because it's much cheaper than using soybeans. But outrage caused the Chinese government to ban the process, although many unscrupulous soy makers continue prowling barbershops for their economic alternative.
"It's not the hair that causes cancer," the soy sauce business insider says, adding that it's possibly caused by MCP, a fluid in the body associated with the breakdown of proteins and increasingly accused of having a potential link to the disease.
China is clearly treating human hair sauce as a problem. Japan bans the use of soy sauce made from anything other than organic proteins, so the animal proteins in human hair sauce are naturally banned.
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