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Japanese Brands
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New to Celiac as my daughter was just recently diagnosed, and trying to weed through my pantry.  The Japanese brands of foods I have eaten all my life have me particularly nervous. 

A big one is Bull-dog tonkatsu sauce.  If any of you have tried it, you probably understand the fandom behind it.  the ingredients are listed as follows:

water

high fructose corn syrup

sugar

distilled vinegar (made from alcohol)

tomato paste

salt

modified rice starch

apple puree

yeast extract

spices

prune paste

carrots

onions

lemon juice

Those ingredients on their own do not contain gluten (except for the listing of spices...).  There have also been debate on whether or not bull-dog sauce contains caramel color (while I have heard that in the U.S. caramel color is created from corn, I can't be sure about in Japan)

Does anyone have any inside into this? Or at least any resources on where I can get more information about Japanese ingredients?  I am trying to also contact Japanese manufacturers in regards to miso paste, and haven't had any success.

Any insights would be helpful, THANKS

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Hello, and welcome to the community.
 
I'll address a few things.
 
If the product was sold in the US, it has to comply with US label rules, which means that wheat will be clearly disclosed using the word "wheat."
 
No grain product can be included under the name "spices." ("Seasoning" is not the same, and could hide barley, at least in theory.)
 
Distilled vinegar is safe. The only vinegar to worry about is "malt vinegar," which is always so labeled. In the US, the single word "vinegar" means apple cider vinegar. FDA definition here.

 

Miso may or may not contain gluten. As noted above, wheat must be disclosed, but it could be made from barley (gluten). It also could be made from rice (gluten-free).

 
Caramel color is one of those celiac urban myths that just won't go away.

Here is Shelley Case's take on it, from Gluten-Free Diet A Comprehensive Resource Guide:

Although gluten-containing ingredients (barley malt syrup and starch hydrolysates) can be used in the production of caramel color, North American companies use corn as it has a longer shelf life and makes a superior product. European companies use glucose derived from wheat starch, however caramel color is highly processed and contains no gluten.

[Emphasis in original]

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Hello, and welcome to the community.

 

I'll address a few things.

 

If the product was sold in the US, it has to comply with US label rules, which means that wheat will be clearly disclosed using the word "wheat."

 

No grain product can be included under the name "spices." ("Seasoning" is not the same, and could hide barley, at least in theory.)

 

Distilled vinegar is safe. The only vinegar to worry about is "malt vinegar," which is always so labeled. In the US, the single word "vinegar" means apple cider vinegar. FDA definition here.

 

Miso may or may not contain gluten. As noted above, wheat must be disclosed, but it could be made from barley (gluten). It also could be made from rice (gluten-free).

 

Caramel color is one of those celiac urban myths that just won't go away.

Here is Shelley Case's take on it, from Gluten-Free Diet A Comprehensive Resource Guide:

[Emphasis in original]

Thanks for the info!  I think I had read about the caramel color in one of your other posts, but what about caramel color produced in other countries?  Do they also use corn, or is there the possibility of gluten based colors there?

Also, a follow up question in regards to miso made from barley culture... if they are imported to the states, would they then disclose the fact that it was made from barley ("mugi koji"), or do they not legally have to state the presence of barley since it is not considered "wheat?" 

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To quote Shelley again, "European companies use glucose derived from wheat starch, however caramel color is highly processed and contains no gluten." Even if it is made from wheat-derived glucose (which is itself gluten-free), caramel color is gluten-free.

In the US, disclosure of barley is not required. My advice on that is if in doubt, don't.

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I live in Japan and I am deathly afraid of miso here. None of the products say what kind of koji they use. I have recently ordered some Eden Foods miso from the US which is labeled as gluten free. I haven't tried it yet because it has been too hot to eat soup!

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I actually got a reply back from the U.S. distributor: JFC International Inc. for the brand of miso we use (Yamabuki) and they said that their Yamabuki shinshu shiro miso (milder miso) is gluten free! YAY! They also sent me a list of all of their gluten free items (as of 4/26/2013):

Botan Rice and Botan rice candy

Daifuku-Kyoshin Ujikintoki

Dynasty Golden Plum Sauce

Dynasty Chili Oil

Dynasty Stir Fry Oil

Dynasty Plum Sauce

Dynasty Hoisin Sauce

Dynasty Bead Molasses

Dynasty Chinese Style BBQ Sauce

Dynasty Chinese Five Spice

Dynasty Sesame Oil

Dynasty Maifun Rice Stick Noodles

Dynasty Saifun Bean Thread Noodles

Dynasty Jasmine Rice

Dynasty Straw Mushroom

Dynasty Bamboo Shoots

Dynasty Water Chestnuts

Dynasty Teas

Dynasty Baby Corn

Dynasty Shitake Mushroom

Dynasty Fish Sauce

Dynasty Wasabi and Thai Chili Mayo

Dynasty Sugar Ginger

Horseradish Powder

Hakubai Sweet Rice

Hikari Shinshu miso no MSG #05141

Hikari Organic Miso Red #06844 #10898

Hime Inari No Moto

JFC coconut Milk

JFC Irishiro Goma

JFC Furikake Salmon

JFC Furikake Goma Shio

JFC Furikake Wakame

JFC Furikake Shiso

JFC Furikake Ebi

JFC Furikake Kimchi

JFC Furikake Yasai

JFC Furikake Nori Komi

Kikkoman Manjo Aji Mirin

Kikkoman Pearl Soymilk, all kinds

Well-pac Cuttle Fish, all kinds

Yamamotoyama Sushi Party Nori

 

Of course, this is for products they sell here in the U.S., so I'm not sure about miso there in Japan :\

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great List, 

I've had a place in japan for 30 years and  9 of which as celiac.  I dont' use  bulldog sauce anymore although I've never had a problem from it. Just makes me  uncomfortable in the gut.   IN this case they said the miso is ok  but for 

Pauliewog  You have to find out with the koji is. As Peter mention US laws have to say when its  wheat but not all companies in the US follow the labeling laws -- especially  in Hawaii where the average grocery will contain a dozen products  without any English labels. If your in Japan or using a lot of Japanese items, learn  the kanji for komugi and mugi or raimugi. Some companies will also use merikenko instead of komugi  - -meaning american powder  AKA Wheat. I find most miso is ok as long as its not mugi miso. Hacho miso from Nagoya has never given me a problem  but its deep red and an acquired taste.  hope this helps   
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I just don't eat out! I have my one favorite sushi place that I have never been sick at and that is it. I have some homemade miso from a friend and the koji was from rice so I know that is safe. Miso I can take or leave so not a problem. I was never a fan of the dark red miso either... takes getting used to and I never did!

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What city are you in?  I trained as a chef in Tokyo and have a lot of friends now trained to handle celiacs. 

 

The one I described in my previous mail is “Tahitian Noni Care” in Shinjuku.
I have not visited there yet, but looks like nice.  
They serve raw food and other organic food menu.  Almost all food there contain Noni.

http://tncafe.jp/concept.html


Café 8 is selling vegan food both at shop and online
http://www.cafe8.jp/

And their Vegan Café is
http://www.pure-cafe.com/concept/
seem to be located at Aoyama.
 
Rainbow Raw food café is in Hamamatsu cho.  I wonder if it’s close to Honpo-san’s place?

http://rainbowrawfood.com/

Rawfood café at Ikebukuro
http://www.latableduprimeur.com/


At Setagaya
https://www.facebook.com/hoolaai

 

 

 

are  rawfood  vegan places  to check out if your in tokyo. I can try to get some names in other places like Nagoya if needed 

DO you like yuba? Juwari soba? there are a lot of options. 

 

good luck

I just don't eat out! I have my one favorite sushi place that I have never been sick at and that is it. I have some homemade miso from a friend and the koji was from rice so I know that is safe. Miso I can take or leave so not a problem. I was never a fan of the dark red miso either... takes getting used to and I never did!

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Thanks for all the information but I am not in Tokyo! I'm in Toyama-ken.

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There are places in Takasaki and  Niigata  -- i wont get back there until  nov 1 but  maybe can  find them then.

Thanks for all the information but I am not in Tokyo! I'm in Toyama-ken.

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No worries. I mainly eat fresh fish/meats and veggies. FBC and Tengu Natural Foods have enough gluten-free things to get me by if I am craving something. Tengu has a good tamari that is wheat free.

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great -- glad you found things you could eat.

No worries. I mainly eat fresh fish/meats and veggies. FBC and Tengu Natural Foods have enough gluten-free things to get me by if I am craving something. Tengu has a good tamari that is wheat free.

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