Gluten-Free Tofu (Updated April 2016)

sliced tofu on plate
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Plain tofu ought to be gluten-free — it's made only with soybeans and a chemical called a coagulant that curdles the mixture until it forms the white gel we know and love.

But soybeans are subject to significant gluten cross-contamination at the farm level (farmers often grow wheat and soy in rotation, using the same equipment for both). Therefore, producers of tofu frequently take extra steps in the form of careful sourcing and testing to make certain they can legally call their products "gluten-free."

Tofu can be a high-protein vegetarian gluten-free diet staple, especially for gluten-free vegetarians and vegans looking for a reliable source of non-animal protein. Its versatility lends itself well to a variety of naturally gluten-free meals ... so it's especially important to choose a brand that's safe on the gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Tofu Brands

Here's the list of major national and regional tofu brands in the U.S., along with their gluten-free status:

  • Azumaya Tofu. This tofu brand, made by Vitasoy USA Inc., is available in Extra Firm, Lite Extra Firm, Firm and Silken. According to a customer service representative, the tofu — which is listed as "gluten-free" on its website — is made in a gluten-free facility. However, be aware that Azumaya also sells marinated baked tofu products, which contain soy sauce. These are not gluten-free.
  • House Foods Tofu. House Foods makes a variety of different premium and organic tofus, both plain and seasoned. According to a customer service representative, the products are made in a gluten-free facility and tested at least once a year with GlutenTox, which tests to approximately five parts per million of gluten. The company's seasoned tofu options do not contain gluten, so this brand may be a good choice for those seeking to avoid the possibility of gluten cross-contamination at the manufacturing plant level.
  • Morinaga Silken Tofu. Made by Mori-Nu, Morinaga tofu is non-GMO and is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). It's available in firm, light, soft and silken varieties. A Mori-Nu customer service rep says that "we submit for the most sensitive gluten test. Our most recent analysis by a third party laboratory indicated a less than 5 ppm result for all Morinaga Silken Tofu products." This also would be a good choice for those who are particularly sensitive to trace gluten.
  • Nasoya Tofu. Like Azumaya's tofu, Nasoya is made by Vitasoy USA Inc. It comes in extra firm, firm, lite firm, soft, cubed and sprouted (tofu made with sprouted soybeans). The tofu is listed as gluten-free on the company's website and is made in the same gluten-free facility as Azumaya tofu.
  • Small Planet Organics Tofu. This small producer produces only tofu — some with organic herbs and spices — at a dedicated gluten-free facility. Small Planet Organics does not test its tofu for gluten cross-contamination.
  • Trader Joe's. T.J.'s used to include its store-brand High Protein Organic Super-Firm Tofu on its list of products with no gluten ingredients. (Read more about this: What does the statement 'no gluten ingredients' mean on a food label?) Since it has shifted to a more limited list of products that meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's standards for gluten-free, the store chain no longer includes tofu on its gluten-free list, unfortunately.

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