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Foods -- General

What is nigari?

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Nigari is the mineral-rich mother liquor that remains after salt is extracted from seawater. It contains sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, and magnesium bromide. It is used to coagulate soy protein to make tofu. In the U.S., a refined salt (magnesium chloride or calcium chloride) is often substituted as the "setting" agent in tofu production. The choice of "setting" agent greatly influences the calcium content of the final tofu product.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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