The Soya bean belongs to the family known as ‘legumes’, this is the same family that includes fresh and dried peas, beans, liquorice and peanuts. Despite being in the same category as these other foods, it is rare for an allergy to be to more than one of these foods. Due to this, it isn’t necessary to avoid other foods from the legume family.
Soya is used in many foods and can be difficult to avoid, particularly in manufactured foods as much as 60% of foods can contain soya. Soy comes from soybeans and immature soybeans are called edamame beans, this can be ingested as whole beans, soya flour, soya sauce or soya oil. Soya can also be used as a texturiser in foods, an emulsifier or a protein filler. Soya flour can be used in many foods such as bread, cakes, burgers, sausages and baby food. Due to this, it is categorised as one of the 14 major allergen groups.
Avoiding all products containing soya would make a very restricted diet, however much like most allergies, the level of avoidance does depend on each individual sufferer. Some individuals may need to avoid all forms of soya however some may be able to tolerate soya lecithin and soy sauce.