Alarmed by the gradual disappearance of small-scale miso breweries that have been a key part of Japan's tradition of fermented foods, an entrepreneur is on a mission to save such enterprises with her "miso drops" — balls of the soybean paste made the old-fashioned way that can be easily made into individual soup servings for busy but health-conscious consumers.

The products are the brainchild of Motomi Takahashi, who was won over to the dietary benefits of miso made using traditional techniques when she was recovering from an illness that led her to undergo surgery in 2016.

The miso drops, produced by hand and sold in elegantly presented sets of various quantities, are flavored with soup stock derived from vegetables. Users can make soup by just adding hot water, stirring and waiting for 30 seconds.