Three types of doenjang, a fermented soybean paste, were prepared by adding coriander (CR), Korean mint (KM), and peppermint (PM) and compared to the control group (CN) by studying their metabolite profiles and antioxidant activities followed by different fermentation periods (1, 30, and 150 days, respectively). The primary metabolome was analyzed by GC-TOF-MS, and 36 of metabolites were identified in four types of doenjang samples (CN, CR, KM, and PM). Samples were clustered based on the herb type and fermentation period in PCA and PLS-DA analysis. For the secondary metabolome analysis, UHPLC-Q-orbitrap-MS was used, and 26 metabolites were identified. The statistical analysis showed that the samples were clustered by herb type rather than fermentation period, and the samples containing KM and PM were located in the same group. The DPPH assay showed that PM-containing doenjang had the highest antioxidant activity. Correlation analysis indicated that organic acids such as lactic acid, malonic acid, succinic acid, uracil, vanillic acid, and quinic acid showed positive correlation with the DPPH activity. Overall, our results demonstrated that incorporating herbs in doenjang during fermentation caused significant shifts (p
-value < 0.05) in the doenjang metabolites and antioxidant activity. Hence, herbs could be utilized for enhancing doenjang fermentation.
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