Hidden Names for Soy

How can I determine if a product contains soy or soy derivatives?

Always read the ingredient list carefully. Soy and soy derivatives can often be present under different names, e.g., tofu. For other common ingredient label names, refer to the list below.

What do I do if I am not sure whether a product contains soy or soy derivatives?

If you have a soy allergy, do not eat or use the product. Get ingredient information from the manufacturer.

Does product size affect the likelihood of an allergic reaction?

It does not affect the likelihood of a reaction; however, the same brand of product may be safe to consume for one product size but not another. This is because product formulation may vary between different product sizes of the same product.

Avoiding soy and soy derivatives

Make sure you read product labels carefully to avoid products that contain soy and soy derivatives. Avoid food and products that do not have an ingredient list and read labels every time you shop. Manufacturers may occasionally change their recipes or use different ingredients for varieties of the same brand. Refer to the following list before shopping:

Other names for soy

Soya, soja, soybean, soyabeans
Soy protein (isolate/concentrate), vegetable protein
Textured soy flour (TSF), textured soy protein (TSP), textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Tofu (soybean curds)

Make sure you read product labels carefully to avoid products that contain soy and soy derivatives. Avoid food and products that do not have an ingredient list and read labels every time you shop.

Possible sources of soy

Note: Avoid all food and products that contain soy in the ingredient list, e.g.,
soy cheese.

Baby formulas
Baked goods and baking mixes, e.g., breads, cookies, cake mixes, doughnuts, pancakes
Bean sprouts
Beverage mixes, e.g., hot chocolate, lemonade
Bread crumbs, cereals, crackers
Breaded foods, chili, pastas, stews, taco filling, tamales
Canned tuna/minced hams
Chewing gum
Cooking spray, margarine, vegetable shortening, vegetable oil
Diet drinks, imitation milk
Dressings, gravies, marinades
Frozen desserts
Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) (may contain hydrolyzed protein)
Processed and prepared meats, e.g., beef, deli, pork, poultry
Sauces, e.g., soy, shoyu, tamari, teriyaki, Worcestershire
Seafood-based products, fish
Seasoning, spices
Simulated fish and meat products, e.g., surimi (imitation crab/lobster meat), simulated bacon bits
Snack foods, e.g., candy, chocolate, energy bars, fudge, popcorn, potato chips
Soups, broths, soup mixes/stock
Spreads, dips, mayonnaise, peanut butter
Thickening agents
Vegetarian dishes

Non-food sources of soy

Cosmetics, soaps
Craft materials
Milk substitutes for young animals
Pet food

Note: These lists are not complete and may change. Food and food products purchased from other countries, through mail-order or the Internet, are not always produced using the same manufacturing and labelling standards as in Canada.

Watch out for allergen cross contamination!

Cross contamination is the transfer of an ingredient (food allergen) to a product that does not normally have that ingredient in it. Through cross contamination, a food that should not contain the allergen could become dangerous to eat for those who are allergic.

Cross contamination can happen:

  • during food manufacturing through shared production and packaging equipment;  
  • at retail through shared equipment, e.g., cheese and deli meats sliced on the same slicer; and through bulk display of food products, e.g., bins of baked goods, bulk nuts; and  
  • during food preparation at home or in restaurants through equipment, utensils and hands.