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How to Start Soya Sauce Manufacturing Business

Soya sauce is one of the world’s oldest condiments and has been used in China for more than 2,500 years. Soya bean is a leguminous crop and is rich in proteins. Many value-added products are made from it like milk, paneer, cheese, and sauce.

Soya products are increasingly becoming popular, especially among health-conscious people. Soya sauce is used as a taste enhancer as it has a typical bitter-sour and sweet taste as well as flavour.

The appealing and unique colour, flavour, and fragrance of soy sauce are generated by the fusion of soybeans, wheat, and salt which are the main raw materials.

The taste is mainly from soybean proteins, and the fragrance is mainly from wheat starch, created as the microorganisms work on each ingredient. The characteristic colour comes from the combination of amino acids, obtained from proteins, and glucose, obtained from starch.

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10 Steps to Start a Soya Sauce Production Business

1. Market Research

Research the demand for soya sauce in your target market. Also, analyze the competition and identify your unique selling points.

2. Create a Business Plan

It is strongly advised to write a business plan for your soy sauce manufacturing business, outlining your goals, budget, and strategies.

3. Legal Requirements

Register your business and obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Comply with food safety and quality standards set by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). To establish a soya sauce manufacturing business Compliance under the PFA Act is mandatory.

4. Select a Factory Location

Choose an appropriate location for your manufacturing unit. While choosing the factory location, consider factors like proximity to raw materials and distribution channels.

5. Buy Raw Materials

Source high-quality soybeans, wheat, salt, and other ingredients required for soy sauce production.

7. Equipment

You will need to invest in equipment like fermenting tanks, mixing machines, filters, and packaging machinery.

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8. Manufacturing Process of Soya Sauce

The manufacturing process is simple. De-fatted soya flour is processed by using the hydrolysis process.

Flour and water along with other ingredients like salt, baking soda, vinegar, preservatives, etc. are mixed homogeneously to form a semi-liquid or paste-type mixture and it is passed through filter sieves to remove impurities.

This mixture is then taken to SS neutralization tanks and kept for about 2 hours before packing.

The stepwise production process of soy sauce is listed below:

  • Soak and cook soybeans and wheat.
  • Blend the cooked ingredients to form a paste.
  • Ferment the paste with the help of yeast and lactic acid bacteria.
  • Press and filter the mixture to extract liquid soy sauce.
  • Pasteurize and package the sauce.

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9. Distribution

Develop a distribution network that reaches your target market, including supermarkets, restaurants, and wholesalers.

10. Marketing

Promote your soya sauce through various marketing channels. It includes online and offline advertising, social media, and partnerships with restaurants and retailers. Also, create a website and have a presence in the online space.

The market for soy-based products including soya sauce is in urban and semi-urban areas and while selecting the location of the plant, this aspect has to be kept in mind. Restaurants, clubs, caterers, and star hotels are major consumers of soya sauce in India.

Cost of Starting a Soya Sauce Production Business

The cost of starting a soya sauce production unit in India can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the scale of production, location, and the extent of automation. Here is a rough estimate of the costs involved:

Land and Building

The cost of land and building will depend on the location and size of the manufacturing unit. In some cases, you might choose to rent or lease a suitable facility.

Machinery and Equipment

This includes fermenting tanks, mixing machines, filtration equipment, pasteurizers, and packaging machinery. The cost can range from several lakhs to crores, depending on the scale of production and automation level.

Raw Materials

You’ll need to purchase soybeans, wheat, salt, yeast, and lactic acid bacteria. The initial cost will depend on the quantity you purchase.

Labour

Labour costs will include salaries for production workers, quality control personnel, and administrative staff.

Utilities

Budget for electricity, water, and gas required for the manufacturing process.

Licenses and Permits

Costs associated with obtaining licenses and permits from regulatory authorities, including FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India).

Packaging Materials

This includes bottles, caps, labels, and other packaging materials.

Transportation

If you need to transport raw materials or finished products over long distances, consider transportation costs.

Marketing and Promotion

Budget for marketing and promotional activities to introduce your product to the market.

Quality Control and Testing

Costs related to setting up a quality control laboratory and conducting regular tests on the product.

Working Capital

Set aside funds for day-to-day operational expenses, including salaries, utilities, and raw material purchases.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Include funds for unforeseen expenses and contingencies.

On average, you are advised to have a budget of Rs. 25 Lacs to Rs. 50 lacs to start a soya sauce manufacturing business in India

It’s important to note that the cost can vary widely based on factors such as the production capacity and the region where you plan to establish your manufacturing unit. It’s advisable to consult with industry experts and conduct a detailed feasibility study to get a more accurate estimate of the costs involved in starting a soya sauce production business in your specific location and according to your production scale. Additionally, consider seeking financial assistance or loans to fund your business if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to have prior experience in food processing to start a soya sauce manufacturing business?

While prior experience can be beneficial, it’s not mandatory. However, a good understanding of food processing, quality control, and the regulatory requirements for food production is essential.

What are the regulatory approvals and licenses required to start a soya sauce production unit?

You will need to obtain licenses and approvals from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and other local health departments. It’s crucial to comply with food safety and hygiene regulations.

How can I source quality raw materials for soy sauce production?

You can establish relationships with local farmers or suppliers for sourcing soybeans, wheat, salt, yeast, and lactic acid bacteria. Ensure that your suppliers meet quality standards.

What is the shelf life of soya sauce, and how should it be stored?

Soya sauce typically has a long shelf life, often exceeding a year. It should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Proper packaging is essential to prevent contamination.

What is the market potential for soya sauce in India?

The market for soya sauce in India is substantial, with demand in households, restaurants, and the food processing industry. The growth potential exists, especially for high-quality and speciality soya sauces.

How can I differentiate my soya sauce brand in a competitive market?

Differentiation can be achieved through product quality, unique flavours, organic or low-sodium options, and effective marketing strategies. Conduct market research to identify gaps in the market.

What is the approximate payback period for a soy sauce manufacturing business?

The payback period can vary based on factors like production capacity, market demand, and marketing efforts. It could range from a few years to several years.

Are there any government subsidies or financial assistance programs available for food processing businesses?

Government schemes and subsidies may be available at the state and central levels. It’s advisable to check with local industrial development agencies and financial institutions for potential financial assistance.

How can I ensure the quality and safety of my soy sauce products?

Implement strict quality control measures, conduct regular testing, and adhere to food safety standards. Hiring a qualified food technologist or consultant can be beneficial.

Can I export soy sauce to international markets from India?

Yes, India has the potential to export soy sauce to international markets. However, this requires compliance with international food safety standards and market research to identify target countries.