Does Soy Sauce Have Gluten? Notable Implications: Detailed Overview

Does Soy Sauce Have Gluten


People who love cooking and chefs worldwide know that no dish would be complete without a contemporary sauce. Each dish becomes classic when a sauce has been added to it. I have noticed a well rising question among people is- does soy sauce have gluten? Basically, if you see, the market is flooded with homemade sauces alongside the commercially produced ones, widely used in all kitchens. Among many, soy sauce is considered a classic invention. It comes in a liquid form in different size bottles and is highly essential in all cuisines famous worldwide. Usually, it is added directly to the food while or after cooking.

Many people use it as a side dish to complement the seafood. It is prepared in quite a traditional way to date today though many people question its authenticity. The most common question many people worldwide ask is, does soy sauce have gluten? In this article, we will find the answer to it.

History of soy sauce:

This unique sauce dates back to the Chinese civilization of the Han dynasty. Initially, Soy sauce is used to stretch salt, an expensive commodity. Initially, soybeans are consumed with fermented fish and salt. Later, they made soy paste and then soy sauce. It was used as a principal ingredient in many dishes and was given as a gift to kings. Later, when its use became common and was sold off in local markets for everyone’s use.

Later, when the Buddhists came to Japan, they bought many products with soy sauce or soybeans. They introduced many vegetarian dishes also.

From Japan, the Europeans took this commodity and sold it off to different parts of the world. Many European countries tried to duplicate the original recipe of the Chinese but failed. Finally, they came up with their version of soy sauce, and it gained immense popularity in the world as sold in many international markets. Different countries produce their version of soy sauce according to their taste and demand to date today.


Industrial manufacture:

Here the soybeans are heated at a high temperature of 80C. They are then mixed with hydrochloric acid, which breaks down the proteins in wheat and soybeans. Then the process of fermentation starts, and the aroma and taste develop. But the essential things are missing, so artificial flavor, color, and salt are added. As this is chemically produced, it has some chemicals which might not be suitable for health.

Traditional making:

Traditionally, the soybeans are soaked in water for few days. Next, they are sun-dried, then roasted and crushed through traditional rolling pins. Then wheat is added with culturing mold Aspergillus and left again for few days to mold. Then water and salt are added and left in the tank for almost eight months to develop the fermentation process.

Here, enzymes break into amino acids. After the aging process, the mixture is taken out and laid onto cloth, and pressed firmly to release the liquid. Then the liquid is commercially pasteurized to rid of any bacteria, and then it’s bottled.

Since we know how soy sauce is made, we will come to the part of whether does soy sauce have gluten?

What is gluten?

Does Soy Sauce Have Gluten

Gluten is commonly known as prolamins. It is a family or group of proteins naturally found in many cereal grains such as rye, barley, and wheat. The gluten protein has a sticky nature; hence, it stretches like glue and even gives bread the ability to rise upon baking when mixed with water.

The name itself is derived from the common word glue as it has sticky nature adhered to itself. Since soy sauce is also made from wheat, then the question is: does soy sauce have gluten? If yes, it does have gluten.

Types of gluten:

There are two main types of gluten found in food items,

  • Gliadins,
  • Glutenins

Here, gliadins are further broken down into four different categories of proteins highly recognized by our immune system. They are

  1. Beta-gliadin
  2. Gamma-gliadin
  3. Omega-gliadin
  4. Alpha-gliadin

Gluten and digestion:

Many people are usually suffered from different diseases. Some are mild, while many prove quite harmful to health. It is ubiquitous that people in the world suffer or have some problems related to the gluten diet. A wide variety of people are intolerant to certain elements, and they cannot consume them. Here, gluten is also intolerant to many people as it damages the digestive system; hence they look for alternatives or entirely opt for a gluten-free diet.


The prevailing diseases have taken a toll on many people. Today’s knowledge has led to many people looking after their health and choosing and eating health-friendly foods. Although many cuisines are incomplete without soy sauce and would not release the flavor, going on an alternative is the best way to maximize the benefits. Let us look at some alternatives sauces to be used instead of soy sauce.

  1. Primarily, soy sauce is accompanied by Worcestershire sauce. It is also black and has a somewhat similar taste, and is a good alternative if you cannot consume soy sauce. It is also made from soybeans, but technically, it is gluten-free hence is anyone asks, does soy sauce have gluten? You can say yes, but Worcestershire sauce doesn’t.
  2. Since soy sauce is used as a seasoning in cuisines, you can alternate it with plain salt. A pinch of simple white salt will do the same trick as soy sauce would.
  3. Furthermore, fish sauce is used instead of soy sauce. It is also fermented, but it has a more pungent taste, so even a dash of fish sauce will be a good substitute.
  4. Rehydrate the dried shitake mushrooms, and then soak them in water for few days. Use that water as an alternative to soy sauce.
  5. Lastly, tamari is the closest to soy sauce. It is brewed in the same way but does not contain wheat; hence it is gluten-free.

Can soy sauce spoil?

All commercially produced soy sauce comes with chemicals, so the chances of spoiling are rare.  When the product has expired, then, first, soy sauce will start losing its flavor. The savory taste will be replaced by tanginess. Later, you will see the bacteria and mold forming in the bottle and the bottle cap’s corners. You can keep an unopened bottle of soy sauce for a maximum of 5 years in a cool place. If opened, then use it within a year for best results.

Does Soy Sauce Have Gluten: How Much?

Does Soy Sauce Have Gluten

It is estimated that one bottle of soy sauce must have below 20 ppm as gluten. If you see the nutritional value of the soy sauce bottle, then look for products that have 5 ppm as per food authority requirements. According to the new laws, all gluten-free products must have less than 20 ppm gluten, which means it will not trigger any side effects in anybody. So does soy sauce contain gluten? it is exactly answered here as all soy sauces have little or no gluten.

Foods to avoid:

If you are gluten intolerant, then the best is to avoid foods that have gluten in them. Here are some foods which as soy sauce in them and hence, should be avoided.

Fried rice with chicken
The classic Japanese dish, fried rice with a dash of soy sauce, is accompanied by fried chicken pieces. This dish is made without soy sauce as it can be replaced by Worcestershire sauce.
Fried noodles
Put your chef’s hat on and go for continental-style fried noodles. This fantastic platter looks and feels wholesome for many. The noodles are fried with soy sauce and other sauces but omit it altogether if it is to be avoided.
Chopped pork ribs
These bite-sized ribs are marinated with loads of garlic and mushrooms. It is cooked in a rich, creamy sauce and topped with drizzled soy sauce. So if you are gluten intolerant, then avoid this dish at all or use other alternatives. So if anybody asks, does soy sauce has gluten, then it is altered in various ways.
Steamed cod
Another delicacy and the most loved dish is the cod. It has the perfect saltiness combined with different sauces added with ginger and scallops. If you want to eat cod and gluten-free, then omit soy sauce for dipping and savor the taste as it is.

These are some examples of dishes made with soy sauce and consumed daily. There are various ways to cater to everyone’s needs. Hence, avoid soy sauce and opt for alternatives.

Does Soy Sauce Have GlutenConclusion:

Does soy sauce have gluten? Can we have it without worrying about allergies? Is it ok for all age groups and for people who have certain diseases? Many people are born with allergies that are genetic or develop them over time. All foods are made with various sauces and served alongside rice, baked potatoes or noodles, or even papadums. Various sauces can easily replace soy sauce and make food unforgettable. Do not stop making worldwide dishes at the comfort of your home, even if you want to consume a gluten-free diet.

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