The Technology for producing tempe began like any other traditional technique which was not based on a scientific theory, but instead on its slow evolution in society. Generations of tempe makers have passed on their art by word of mouth and changes evolved as they gained new experience. Indonesia’s tempe makers, however, acknowledge that a basic technique is essensial to be able to prepare tempe. This must incluede the stages of boiling, dehulling, soaking with acidification, washing, inoculation with starter, packing and fermentation.
These many modifications create different types of tempe, each with their own, individual characteristics that have become specific to different areas. They are already well known, and people have learned to recoqnize their characteristics. More recently, as education and furher research stimulated the search for more knowledge, scientis began studying the different stages of the tempe fermentation to try to work how these different processes influenced the quality characteristics of the end product.
This is the fundamental process and each stage is usually modified by the individual’s personal experience of a particular variation, local avaibility of materials, or bu natural evolution of the process when something occurs accidentally which improves the end result. The modifications may include a different soybean soak time or technique; varition in the type and method of inoculation; the boiling time and wheter the beans are frequenly re-heated, packaging materials and style of wrapping; fermentation time and style.