According to the Asahi Shimbun, an increasing number of sake breweries and shochu distillers nationwide are forging tie-ups with chemical makers to develop new brands by taking advantage of the latter’s technologies.
Nishi Sake Brewing Co., the producer of shochu, recently developed a new brand shochu in partnership with Mitsubishi Rayon Cleansui Co., a manufacturer of water purifiers.
The sweet potato shochu is made of water purified by Mitsubishi Rayon Cleansui, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp.
The company's purifier produces “super soft water” by removing calcium, magnesium and other impure substances that water purifiers for home use cannot eliminate.
Distilled from the highly purified water, the shochu boasts a purer taste of sweet potatoes, company officials said.
Last spring, Nishino Kinryo Corp., a sake brewery, put out new brand sake, which concentrates “daiginjo” top-quality sake into a high alcohol content of 30 percent.
The production of the sake, which boasts a richer aroma than conventional sake, uses a seawater desalination technology developed by Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., which removes only water from the original sake, but no alcohol or flavorful ingredients.
Wineries in Europe are getting in on the act as well, with many using filters developed by Asahi Kasei Corp. to remove impurities from their products.