The Cancer Causing 3-MPCD in Soy Sauce!

A food safety issue about soy sauce was aired recently by GMA7 24 Oras. Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was warning the public against the proliferation of unbranded and unlabeled food products especially the soy sauce.

half teaspoon soy sauce

What’s wrong about unbranded / unlabeled soy sauce? We are not sure about its cleanliness. Its preparation might be unsanitary making it dangerous to human health. The worst, it can cause cancer!

FDA added that all soy sauce supplies here in our country are safe from cancer causing substances, the 3-MCPD or 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol. Unlabeled brands do not undergo testing so their safety are not assured.

Why do some soy sauce have 3-MCPD? The condiment is made by fermentation of soya. Then it is sold as concentrate or ready to use products. However, there is a faster and more economical way of production, the acid hydrolysis of protein. The process is carried out by mixing soya with hydrochloric acid and heating afterwards. This produces flavors and appears similar to naturally fermented version. Then the fat content of veggies reacts with HCl to form the carcinogenic 3-MPCD.

How can we assure that our favorite soy sauce brand is free from 3-MPCD? The answer is – there is no way. A manufacturer might declared their product was naturally fermented even if it was not.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

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