Is soy sauce gluten free?
Is soy sauce gluten free? This is a matter of some debate lately. Traditional soy sauces are made by combining soybeans and grain with mold cultures, and fermenting it. The mold breaks down the grain proteins and starches. Other soy sauces, such as the clear plastic packets commonly available with Chinese take out, are made from hydrolyzed soy protein. These types, however, have been shown to contain carcinogens, so people may want to avoid them regardless of gluten sensitivity.
Traditionally, soy sauce has been considered unsafe, because many varieties are made with wheat and say so on the label. However, Soya.be sent samples of soy sauce to an external laboratory for testing. The results showed that the gluten content in it was below 5 parts per million (ppm), which is well under 20 ppm, the level deemed safe by both the FDA and the Codex Alimentarius. This would seem to indicate that soy sauce is safe for a gluten free diet even when it is made with wheat. Yet, many people claim that they do have reactions when they eat soy sauce. Others claim that they don’t. But a lack of noticeable symptoms doesn’t mean that no harm is being done. The only way to be safe is to avoid the wheat containing soy sauce whenever possible.
Fortunately, not all soy sauces are made with wheat. Tamari soy sauce traditionally isn’t made with wheat, but check the ingredients to be sure. Korean soy sauce (Joseon ganjang) is not made with wheat. Brazilian soy sauce (shoyu) is typically made with maize instead of wheat.
Gluten Free Soy Sauce Products
San-J Tamari is not made with wheat and is certified gluten free. In addition, it is certified kosher and non-GMO.
- San-J Tamari Soy Sauce – 10 oz.
- San-J Organic Tamari Soy Sauce – 10 oz
- San-J Reduced Sodium Organic Tamari Soy Sauce – 10 oz.
Kikkoman makes a gluten free soy sauce made with rice.
Little Soya soy sauce is not made with wheat and tests below FDA standards.
Wan Ja Shan offers Tamari with and without wheat. Be sure to check the label to verify which one it is.
Kari-Out offers a gluten free soy sauce for Chinese take out. The president of the company has celiac disease.
Ohsawa gluten free tamari is made with sake (rice).