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Is it or isn’t it gluten free? Soy Sauce June 28, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Is It or Isn't It?.
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Soy sauce is made from soy beans which are safe right? Yet soy sauce graces the ‘forbidden’ section of most gluten free food lists. Why? The process used to make it involves fermenting soy beans in wheat. I dug around and found conflicting articles arguing both sides. Here’s a good one that puts it back in the safe zone:

“The tested naturally fermented soy sauces are gluten-free and will probably not cause adverse reaction in gluten sensitive persons, especially when considering the small daily quantities of soy sauce used. Highly sensitive individuals who want to be 100% sure should use soy sauce which are advertised as gluten-free and which do not contain grains as ingredients.” >>Read more at soy.be

Testing, levels of gluten, etc. etc. aside it comes down to sensitivity which is apparent when you see discussion occurring forums like this where the people express varying experiences from being affected by traces of wheat to not at all. If you have Celiac Disease the mantra seems to be stay away from all traces of wheat. If you are gluten intolerant, it’s at your discretion. As much as we try to be conscious of what we eat there is always going to be a level of contamination and it all adds up – in my experience to mystery tummy aches.

Is it or isn’t it gluten free?

Soy sauce will stay on my forbidden list for three reasons:
1. Wheat is a primary ingredient listed on labeling
2. There is not a  formal study proving so backed by a credible organization.
3. Manufacturers have not officially claimed their products are gluten free. To the contrary some produce gluten free soy sauces.

The Solution

The good news is you don’t have to give up soy sauce. Can you imagine sushi without soy sauce/wasabi dip? No fun. There are gluten free soy sauces on the market you can purchase from most mainstream local grocery stores (I get mine at Vons/Safeway). Keep a bottle in your cupboard and packets in your purse for eating out and at work. Ask for gluten free soy sauce at restaurants, you’d be surprised at how many happen to have a bottle hiding in the kitchen. I’ll use any brand I haven’t tasted a difference between them. The one I’m carrying around today is SAN-J Organic Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce. If you can’t find it in the store it’s pretty easy to source online.

gluten free soy sauce

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