Is Soy Gluten-Free? Exploring Soy Sauce, Flour, Milk, Protein, and Alternatives

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We understand that many people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance struggle to find foods that meet their dietary restrictions.

Soy is a common ingredient found in many processed foods, and as a result, it is vital to understand whether soy is gluten-free or not.

In this article, we will explore the question “is soy gluten-free?” and provide comprehensive information to help you make informed decisions about incorporating soy into your diet.

Is Soy Gluten Free?

Soy is a versatile and widely used ingredient in many food products, including soy milk, soy flour, soy protein, and soy sauce.

Soy sauce is a popular condiment that adds flavor to many dishes, but is soy sauce gluten-free?

The answer is not a simple yes or no.

Traditional soy sauce is mainly made by fermenting soybeans with roasted wheat or barley.

This process breaks down the gluten protein in the wheat or barley, making the final product gluten-free.

However, some people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance may still be sensitive to the residual gluten protein in the soy sauce.

The short answer is: it depends on the type of soy product and how it is processed.

Let us examine each type in more detail:

Soy Sauce

Regular soy sauce, also known as Chinese or Japanese soy sauce, is typically made with soybeans, wheat, salt, and enzymes.

The wheat is used to help break down the soybeans during the fermentation process and balances the flavor.

Therefore, regular soy sauce contains gluten and is unsafe for a gluten-free diet.

However, gluten-free soy sauce options are available, such as tamari soy sauce, made with little to no wheat and usually made with only soybeans, salt, and enzymes.

Tamari soy sauce is also typically darker and richer in flavor than regular soy sauce.

Another option is coconut aminos, made from coconut sap and salt and has a similar taste and color to soy sauce.

Our Recommendation

 Gluten Free Tamari Soy Sauce

Kikkoman GF Tamari Soy Sauce is a premium soy sauce alternative that caters to individuals with gluten sensitivities or following a gluten-free diet.

Made with the exact adherence to quality as the original Kikkoman Tamari Soy Sauce, this gluten-free version offers an authentic taste experience without compromising on dietary needs.

With its rich flavor and versatile usage, Kikkoman Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce aims to elevate your culinary creations.

Soy flour

Soy flour is another commonly used soy product that may be a concern for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Soy flour is mostly made by grinding roasted soybeans into a fine powder.

So is soy flour gluten free? Well, while soybeans are naturally gluten-free, some manufacturers may process soy flour in facilities that also process wheat, barley, and rye.

This could result in cross-contamination with gluten, making the soy flour unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

It is essential to pay close attention to food labels and to ensure that you are selecting certified gluten-free products.

Gluten-free certification programs ensure that food products are tested and verified to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

This threshold is the maximum amount of gluten that can be present in a product and still be considered gluten-free.

Our Recommendation

Gluten Free Soy Flour

Naturevibe Botanicals Gluten-Free Soy Flour is a premium product that provides a versatile and nutritious gluten-free alternative for baking and cooking.

Made from high-quality non-GMO soybeans and carefully processed to eliminate gluten, this soy flour offers a range of benefits for individuals with gluten sensitivities or those following a gluten-free diet.

Soy milk

Soy milk is a popular dairy-free alternative often used instead of cow’s milk.

While soy milk is naturally gluten-free, some brands may often contain added ingredients that could contain gluten.

It is important to read food labels carefully and choose certified gluten-free brands.

Soy Protein

Soy protein is also naturally gluten-free, made only from soybeans.

However, some brands may add gluten-containing additives or flavorings, so it is essential to check the labeling and choose a certified gluten-free brand.

Our Recommendation

Gluten free Soy Protein Powder

This Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Soy Protein Powder is a high-quality plant-based protein supplement specially formulated for those with gluten sensitivities or those following a gluten-free lifestyle.

Derived from non-GMO soybeans and processed in a gluten-free facility, this protein powder offers a convenient and nutritious option to support your fitness goals and dietary needs.

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Soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is a common emulsifier found in many processed foods.

While soy lecithin is derived from soy, is soy lecithin gluten free?

Well, it is a highly processed ingredient typically free from allergens and gluten.

Soy lecithin is often used to produce chocolate and baked goods to improve texture and consistency.

Choosing Safe Soy Products for a Gluten-Free Diet

When choosing soy products for a gluten-free diet, it is important to read the labeling carefully and look for only soy products that are certified gluten-free.

Additionally, it is vital to be aware of the risk of cross-contamination, especially with soy sauce, and to choose gluten-free alternatives or use them in moderation.

Soy Sauce Substitutes and Alternatives

If you are sensitive to gluten, opting for gluten-free soy sauce alternatives is best.

Several soy sauce substitutes and alternatives are available, such as tamari soy sauce, coconut aminos, and gluten-free soy sauce.

Other options include using vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice as a substitute in recipes or using alternative seasonings such as garlic, ginger, or herbs.

1) Tamari soy sauce

Tamari soy sauce is a naturally gluten-free substitute for traditional soy sauce.

Other gluten-free soy sauces include San-J soy sauce and La Choy gluten-free soy sauce.

It is important to read food labels carefully to ensure that you are selecting a certified gluten-free product.

2) Coconut aminos

Coconut aminos are a great gluten-free alternative to soy sauce.

Coconut aminos resemble soy sauce in taste and texture and are made from the sap of coconut trees.

Coconut aminos are gluten-free, soy-free, and suitable for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or soy intolerance.

3) Fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce

Fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce are also flavorful alternatives to soy sauce that are gluten-free.

Fish sauce is a popular condiment in Southeast Asian cuisine, while Worcestershire sauce is a tangy and savory sauce commonly used in British cuisine.


In summary, soy is naturally gluten-free, but some soy products may contain gluten due to cross-contamination during processing.

If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, reading food labels carefully and choosing certified gluten-free products is important.

There are many gluten-free soy sauce substitute, including tamari soy sauce, San-J soy sauce, La Choy soy sauce, coconut aminos, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is soy gluten-free?

Soybeans themselves are naturally gluten-free, but some soy products like soy sauce may contain wheat, which has gluten.

Is soy sauce gluten-free?

Most traditional soy sauce contains wheat, which has gluten. However, there are gluten-free soy sauce alternatives available, like tamari and coconut aminos.

How can I avoid cross-contamination with gluten when consuming soy products?

It is important to read food labels carefully and choose certified gluten-free products. Avoid processed foods that may contain soy and wheat flour, and cook your own meals using raw materials to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.