Foundation for Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Soy sauce (shoyu)

Both tamari and shoyu soy sauce are made from soybeans, water, and sea salt. However, shoyu also contains wheat or rice, which gives it a milder taste.
  36/60/04  LA:ALA

Soy sauce comes in both light and dark varieties. Light soy sauce comes from the first pressing, tastes rather salty, and is the most common type of soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is fermented for a longer time and often has added caramel or molasses. It is less salty, thicker, and slightly sweetish in taste.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “Soy sauce (also called soya sauce) is a condiment made from a fermented paste of boiled soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds. Soy sauce in its current form seems to have begun in the 2nd century AD in China and spread throughout East and Southeast Asia where it is used in cooking and as a condiment.


“Soy sauce is made either by fermentation or by hydrolysis. Some commercial sauces have both fermented and chemical sauces.
Flavor, color, and aroma developments during production are attributed to non-enzymatic Maillard browning.
Variation is usually achieved as the result of different methods and durations of fermentation, different ratios of water, salt, and fermented soy, or through the addition of other ingredients.”

Detailed information about traditional and industrial produced soy sauce is provided by the abovementioned Wikipedia link.


A study by the National University of Singapore showed that Chinese dark soy sauce contains 10 times the antioxidants of red wine, and can help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Soy sauce is rich in lactic acid bacteria and of excellent anti-allergic potential.

Soy sauce does not contain the level of isoflavones associated with other soy products such as tofu or edamame. It can also be very salty, having a salt content between 14–18%. Low-sodium soy sauces are made, but it is difficult to make soy sauce without using some quantity of salt as an antimicrobial agent.”

Soy sauce and “raw food”:

We don’t consider soy sauce to be raw. Soybeans are generally heated during the production process since they like all other green beans contain the glycoprotein phasin, which is toxic for humans. Phasin inhibits the absorption of nutrients in the intestine, causes hemagglutination (clumping of the red blood cells), and in larger amounts can destroy the intestinal villi. Heating processes (e.g., cooking and roasting) destroy phasin, making soybeans and soybean products such as tofu, miso, and tempeh safe for human comsumption. As a result, even unpasteurized soy products are not actually raw, but are instead cooked products that have been “revived” through the process of fermentation.


In 2001, the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency found in testing various soy sauces manufactured in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand (made from hydrolyzed soy protein, rather than being naturally fermented) that 22% of tested samples, contained a chemical carcinogen named 3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) at levels considerably higher than those deemed safe by the EU. About two-thirds of these samples also contained a second carcinogenic chemical named 1,3-DCP (1,3-dichloropropane-2-ol) which experts advise should not be present at any levels in food. Both chemicals have the potential to cause cancer and the Agency recommended that the affected products be withdrawn from shelves and avoided. 3-MCPD and 1,3-DCP. The same carcinogens were found in soy sauces manufactured in Vietnam, causing a food scare in 2007.

In Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society writes, "Health Canada has concluded that there is no health risk to Canadians from use of available soy and oyster sauces. Because continuous lifetime exposure to high levels of 3-MCPD could pose a health risk, Health Canada has established 1.0 part per million (ppm) as a guideline for importers of these sauces, in order to reduce Canadians' long-term exposure to this chemical. This is considered to be a very safe level.”


Most varieties of soy sauce contain wheat, to which some people have a medical intolerance. However, some naturally brewed soy sauces made with wheat may be tolerated by people with a specific intolerance to gluten because gluten is not detectable in the finished product. Japanese tamari soy sauce is traditionally wheat-free, and some tamari available commercially today is wheat- and gluten-free.

Nutritional Information per 100g 2000 kCal
Energy 53 kcal2.6%
Fat/Lipids 0.57 g0.8%
Saturated Fats 0.07 g0.4%
Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber) 4.9 g1.8%
Sugars 0.4 g0.4%
Fiber 0.8 g3.2%
Protein (albumin) 8.1 g16.3%
Cooking Salt (Na:5'493.0 mg)13'952 mg581.3%
Recommended daily allowance according to the GDA.
Protein (albumin)
Cooking Salt

Essential Nutrients per 100g with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kCal
Sodium, Na 5'493 mg687.0%
MinManganese, Mn 1 mg51.0%
ProtTryptophan (Trp, W) 0.1 g39.0%
ProtThreonine (Thr, T) 0.27 g29.0%
ProtIsoleucine (Ile, I) 0.32 g26.0%
ElemPhosphorus, P 166 mg24.0%
ProtPhenylalanine (Phe, F) 0.35 g23.0%
ElemPotassium, K 435 mg22.0%
ProtLeucine (Leu, L) 0.54 g22.0%
ProtValine (Val, V) 0.33 g21.0%

Detailed Nutritional Information per 100g for this Ingredient

The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.

If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.

For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.

Essential fatty acids, (SC-PUFA) 2000 kCal
Linoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 0.23 g2.0%
Alpha-Linolenic acid; ALA; 18:3 omega-3 0.03 g1.0%

Essential amino acids 2000 kCal
Tryptophan (Trp, W) 0.1 g39.0%
Threonine (Thr, T) 0.27 g29.0%
Isoleucine (Ile, I) 0.32 g26.0%
Phenylalanine (Phe, F) 0.35 g23.0%
Leucine (Leu, L) 0.54 g22.0%
Valine (Val, V) 0.33 g21.0%
Lysine (Lys, K) 0.38 g20.0%
Methionine (Met, M) 0.1 g10.0%

Vitamins 2000 kCal
Niacin (née vitamin B3) 2.2 mg14.0%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.16 mg12.0%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.15 mg11.0%
Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11) 14 µg7.0%
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 0.3 mg5.0%
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.03 mg3.0%
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 0 mg< 0.1%
Vitamin D 0 µg< 0.1%
Vitamin A, as RAE 0 µg< 0.1%

Essential macroelements (macronutrients) 2000 kCal
Sodium, Na 5'493 mg687.0%
Phosphorus, P 166 mg24.0%
Potassium, K 435 mg22.0%
Magnesium, Mg 74 mg20.0%
Calcium, Ca 33 mg4.0%

Essential trace elements (micronutrients) 2000 kCal
Manganese, Mn 1 mg51.0%
Iron, Fe 1.4 mg10.0%
Zinc, Zn 0.87 mg9.0%
Copper, Cu 0.04 mg4.0%
Selenium, Se 0.5 µg1.0%