A refined diet supplemented with Japanese-style fermented soy sauce (shoyu) inhibits benzo[a]pyrene-induced forestomach neoplasia in mice (Cancer Res., 51: 2940–2942, 1991). In the present study, soy sauce was extracted with ethyl acetate. The soluble fraction contained flavor/aroma compounds and antioxidants, whereas amino-carbonyl compounds that impart color were concentrated in the ethyl acetate insoluble fraction. Both fractions inhibited benzo[a]pyrene-induced forestomach neoplasia in a protocol in which the test material was fed following exposure to the carcinogen. A principal flavor/aroma component of soy sauce, 4-hydroxy-2(or 5)-ethyl-5(or 2)-methyl-3(2H)-furanone, was fed to mice following benzo[a]pyrene administration and found to inhibit the subsequent development of forestomach neoplasia. 4-Hydroxy-2(or 5)-ethyl-5(or 2)-methyl-3(2H)-furanone was effective when fed at 4 mg/kg body weight/day, indicating that it is a potent anticarcinogen.


This work was supported in part by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison; grants from the Kikkoman Corporation and the WHO; and gift funds administered through the Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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