...But Soy Isn't An Ingredient?

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!

Here’s something we’ve never seen before: a packed food that lists soy as an allergen, but doesn’t have soy as an ingredient. Take a look at the picture below. The packaging clearly identifies that this product contains soy. But, soy is absent from the ingredient list. There is no mention of soy, soya, soybean oil, vegetable oil, soy lecithin… nothing!


The ingredients of this product were actually fairly simple, so let’s run through them quickly: 

  • There is no reason to expect that the sugar (including: sugar, brown sugar, glucose, and maple syrup) would contain soy.
  • The ingredients of the cream are listed, so we know that it doesn’t contain soy.
  • Potassium sorbate isn’t soy.
  • Butter is soy-free. While they could have used margarine in place of butter, this change would be identified on the ingredient label (calling out the use of vegetable oil or simply stating margarine).
  • That just leaves the natural maple flavor. By process of elimination, this has to contain soy. Natural flavors can be challenging because we never know exactly what they are. We are never quite sure if they can cause a problem or not, but it does seem possible that they can be made using soy. 

We found this peculiarity on a package of fudge in Canada. After running through the ingredients and comparing them to the five places to find soy, we've concluded that it must be the natural flavoring that causes the “contains soy” warning. 

This is a great example of some of the complexities of avoiding soy. Ashley didn’t eat this since the product stated that it contained soy, but it would have been interesting to see if she had a reaction or if the packaging had some sort of mistake. It isn’t every day you see a warning for a food that doesn’t seem to be clearly reflected in the ingredient list!