Gluten Free Diet | Gluten Free Soy Sauce | Wheat Fee Tamari Sauce | Gluten Free Foods | Allergy

Gluten Free Foods, is Soy Sauce Gluten Free?

by Allergy Guy

A gluten free diet presents challenges with the minor ingredients in what might almost be a gluten free food.  Soy sauce could be a likely gluten contaminator.

Gluten free foods are not so hard to come by, at least in principle.  Avoid the obvious such as wheat-based bread, pasta etc.  Go for gluten-free bread and pasta etc.

The problem is finding foods that have not been contaminated with wheat for reasons that don’t seem to make sense to those with a gluten allergy or celiac disease.

Soy Sauce is Usually Gluten-Contaminated

Soy sauce (also known as soya sauce) is most often made with wheat.  Some types, especially some Japanese varieties such as Shiro, use a lot of wheat.  Other types such as Chinese soy sauce have relatively small amounts of grain added, but still contain gluten.

Depending on your sensitivity to gluten, you may be able to get away with some soy sauce in food.

If you are celiac, your tolerance to gluten is zero, and you should avoid all soy sauce with wheat added, in other words, most types of soy sauce.

If you have a gluten allergy, you may be able to get by with some soy sauce in your food.  It is up to you to recognize how much it affects you.

Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

San-J  gluten free tamari sauce

Gluten free Tamari Sauce

Gluten-free soy sauce does exist, and a good thing too!  For those who love the flavour, it is a great addition to your kitchen.

Wheat-free soy sauce is not called “soy sauce”, it is called tamari sauce.  This is a type of Japanese soy sauce.

San-J tamari sauce is readily available in North America.  It is high-quality and gluten-free.  It is the type I  buy due to quality and availability.

Bragg Liquid Amino is similar to soy sauce and is wheat-free.  Unlike soy sauce, it is not fermented, and has not added salt (according to the manufacturer info line) but does taste very similar to soy sauce.

Soy Sauce and Carcinogens

Some types of soy sauce may have carcinogens present as a result of the brewing process.  This problem is most often found in some types made from acid-hydrolyzed soy protein rather than traditionally brewed types.


Most types of soy sauce must be avoided to maintain your gluten free diet.

Your best bet is to look for wheat-free tamari sauce.  Be aware that not all types of tamari are wheat-free. Always check ingredients.

Your comments are welcome! What is your experience with soy sauce and a gluten-free diet?  What brands have you found to be wheat-free (please indicate what countries you know these brands to be available in)?

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