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  • Alyssa Fontaine, RD
  • Jul 06, 2024

Is tofu gluten free?

With tofu being one of the most prominent foods in a plant based diet, it’s important to know if it fits in your gluten free vegan diet!

Here is everything you need to know about it from some of our expert vegan nutritionists on whether tofu is gluten free.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. It provides elasticity to dough and helps baked goods maintain their shape by acting as a binding agent. 

Even in foods without gluten as an ingredient, it’s crucial to remain vigilant for potential cross-contamination. 

Therefore, for individuals following a gluten-free diet, thorough label reading and certification verification on packaging are essential.

Is tofu gluten free?

Tofu is inherently gluten-free as it’s produced from coagulated soy milk, which is then pressed into blocks. Unlike many baked goods, tofu doesn’t require gluten for its production process. 

Soybeans, the primary ingredient in tofu, are naturally devoid of gluten. Additionally, tofu is typically made using coagulating agents like calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride, both of which are gluten-free.

While it’s important to remain vigilant for potential cross-contamination, especially if manufactured alongside gluten-containing products. The risk of cross-contamination is generally low unless explicitly stated otherwise on the packaging.

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Is tofu safe for people with celiac disease?

While tofu in its natural state is typically safe for individuals with celiac disease, it’s crucial to exercise caution when it comes to flavored or marinated varieties. 

Checking the ingredient list is essential to ensure no gluten-containing additives have been incorporated. Specifically look out for if the tofu has been coated with breadcrumbs or breading.

Again there may be potential cross contamination during manufacturing the tofu, which is why ensuring to read the may contain area on the label is crucial.

It may help as well that certain products will have gluten free certification. This will ensure with certainty that the product does not contain any sources of gluten.

Check out our article about being celiac and vegan to know how to manage both!

Why is soy gluten-free?

Gluten is exclusive to specific grain products such as wheat, barley, and rye. Soybeans, on the other hand, belong to the legume family, and their protein structure differs entirely from those containing gluten.

Do celiacs react to soy?

Celiac disease prompts immediate and potentially severe reactions to gluten found in foods, posing significant risks to gut health over time.

Fortunately, soybeans and all soy products are inherently safe for individuals with celiac disease, as they naturally lack gluten.

However, again, it is essential to read labels and sources of cross-contamination. This will verify that the soy product does not have any additives or products that would make it contain gluten. 

Is agedashi tofu gluten free?

Agedashi tofu is a traditional Japanese dish featuring deep-fried tofu served with a dashi-based sauce. 

The tofu, typically soft or medium-firm, is coated with potato starch before frying, resulting in a crispy exterior and a soft interior. 

The dashi-based sauce, which provides the dish with its umami flavor, is naturally gluten-free. 

As a result, Agedashi tofu is a delicious and safe option for those following a gluten-free diet.

Is hiyayakko tofu gluten free?

Hiyayakko tofu is a traditional Japanese side dish or appetizer. It consists of chilled tofu made with soft or silken tofu; medium and firm textures are not typically used in this dish. 

Hiyayakko is typically garnished with green onions, bonito flakes, grated ginger, and topped with soy sauce. 

As none of the ingredients in this dish contain gluten, it is perfectly safe and enjoyable for individuals with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

To know how to manage a gluten-free diet as a vegan, book a consultation with one of our expert vegan nutritionists!

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