Determination of bioactive compounds in fermented soybean products using GC/MS and further investigation of correlation of their bioactivities

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2012 Jan 1;880(1):42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2011.11.013. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


The active ingredients and bioactivities (anti-oxidant, anti-tyrosinase, anti-proliferative and estrogenic activities) of soybean and soybean products (Cheonggukjang, Meju, Makjang, Doenjang and soy sauce) produced by different fermentation processes were compared. There were high correlations between active ingredients and bioactivities. Free phenolic acids extracted from soybean products were identified and quantified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Overall, the components and activities in fermented soybean products were different than those in soybeans. Total phenolic content (TPC), protein content (PC) and anti-oxidant activity increased as fermentation time increased. TPC and PC showed strong negative correlations with anti-oxidant activity. Doenjang and soy sauce, two long-term fermented products, showed lower total flavonoid content (TFC) and estrogenic activities than short-term fermented soybean products. This might be explained by the decomposition and hydrolysis of flavonoids due to the long fermentation time and high temperature. Strong anti-proliferative activity against cancer cell lines, which was highly correlated with TFC, was found in Meju and Cheonggukjang. Soybean and all fermented products except Meju exhibited effective tyrosinase inhibitory activities. Fermented products showed stronger estrogenic activity than soybeans, which was highly correlated with syringic acid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Estrogens / analysis
  • Estrogens / isolation & purification
  • Estrogens / pharmacology
  • Fermentation
  • Flavonoids / analysis*
  • Flavonoids / isolation & purification
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybenzoates / analysis*
  • Hydroxybenzoates / isolation & purification
  • Hydroxybenzoates / pharmacology
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Picrates
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Soybeans / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Estrogens
  • Flavonoids
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Picrates
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase