What exactly is Bragg's Liquid Aminos honestly?

by (1401) Updated January 21, 2014 at 6:18 PM Created April 25, 2012 at 7:24 AM

I have never tried this product before, but was just curious about something. I was just thinking if Liquid Aminos is just a marketing and more user-friendly way of saying soy sauce?

I mean, I would think it's the health conscious community(vegans mostly) that use Bragg's products(except the vinegar) so maybe Bragg's company was just clever and named it containing the word "aminos". Many vegans do mention protein being made of amino acids and them not needing it from animals and, how soy has all the essential amino acids in it.

I did a quick search for what Bragg's Liquid Aminos product was and somewhere on the internet it said that it was unfermented so it can't be soy sauce(I can't confirm this, Braggs website doesn't mention it), and they also don't add salt.

A person who commented on that post asked why it has such a dark colour, and then that inspired me to ask this question here. Have any of you used it? What exactly is it? How does it get that colour? Do they add any colouring to it?

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35 Replies

5888 · April 25, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Bragg's Liquid Aminos is made by treating soybeans with hydrochloric acid to create free amino acids and then neutralizing the remaining acid with sodium bicarbonate, which creates sodium chloride, giving it its salty taste. Personally, I just stick with traditionally fermented wheat-free tamari.

60 · October 24, 2012 at 4:07 AM

I'm not one of the paleo folks but I came across this... I am, however, one of those crazy vegan folks and Bragg's has been a "hot item" for a number of years... several folks still use it. However, I tend to be a fermentation geek... do the research... Braggs and traditional soy sauce aren't really that good for you, they're knock offs... if you're trying to be anti-salt and low sodium, avoid all of it... but otherwise go for the Tamari. Tamari is an off-product of Miso... the brine from fermenting Miso really... it takes a long time to create (roughly a year per batch) and is chalked full of lacto-bacilli as well as other good bacteria that assist with healthy digestive function. Traditional soy products in asia were things like miso, tempeh, natto, and tamari... all fermented products... fermenting it enables soy products to be more easily digested, nutrients to be more easily absorbed, and over-all healthier. Tamari will always be your best bet in the soy sauce wars!

Personally I don't understand the attacks on fermented foods by so many companies as of late... there are few things better for your body than beautifully fermented foods. Microbiotics are your friends!

50 · January 30, 2013 at 4:50 AM

CLEARLY none of you are aware if the "colourful" history of "health expert" Paul Bragg :)

Let me summarize: I have no links to back this up (I'm sure you could google it) but back in about grade 8 when I went vegan, I was scouring a used book store for some veg cook books, and most of them were from that period in the 70s when everyone started going kooky about diets and health (macrobiotics, soy EVERYTHING, cod liver by the gallons, etc.) and there was a book by Paul Bragg that promised something along the lines of "perfect health" or whatever. Much to my horror, I discovered what Bragg's health philosophy was all about; see, today we have everyone arguing about "trans fats" and "HFCS" or GMOs as the guilty culprit behind so many western diseases, but Bragg believed, very passionately, that the enemy was: salt. Not sodium, but salt. He believed that all of man's perils were due to adding salt to our food. Sodium itself was fine, provided it came from a natural source = hence, Bragg's liquid aminos. "Natural" salt juice. That wasn't the horrible part, though. The book went on about drinking one's urine to test its quality or some bullshit while fasting. I have never been able to look at those seasoning bottles the same way again. The horror? I recently found a urine therapy book from the 70s on my boyfriend's hippie mom's book shelf shudder

TLDR Paul Bragg was a fucking crazy woo pusher who had zero scientific backing for his ridiculous claims, and he created his seasoning for his pee-drinking followers.

But hey, I love the ACV. Full of vinegar eels :) (I'm studying to be a microbiologist so I love that shit)

40652 · April 25, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Meh, I'm not impressed with any of the soy sauce alternatives - Brags, Coconut Aminos, whatever... just stick to soy sauce. And even conventional soy sauce is essentially gluten-free even when produced with wheat. So unless you are seriously allergic or seriously celiac, there's little reason to avoid soy sauce.

Yeah, people freak out about the "evil" soy, but you're consuming a small amount of fermented soy, consider the dose and processing before fretting too much.

40 · May 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM

I think this stuff dates back to when vegetarians and especially vegans were getting a lot of flak about how, if they weren't eating meat, they must "not be getting enough protein."

People really used to think you couldn't get enough protein without eating animal products, since only animal protein includes all the amino acids your body needs. Vegetarian sources each contain some of the amino acids. For awhile people thought vegetarians/vegans needed to eat foods containing all the amino acids in any given meal; i.e., you had to combine foods in a meal very carefully to get them all, every meal.

Finally, nutrition scientists did some experiments that found that your body combines the amino acids from the various foods you eat over a period of hours or even a day, and make complete protein in your system. So, as long as you eat a good variety of vegetarian food, there's no protein problem. (Thank God people eventually do scientific experiments to find out if what they're theorizing is true.)

So, Braggs dates back to those early veggie days and probably was created to address concerns that vegetarians weren't getting all their amino acids at every meal. It's kind of a relic. You don't need it. If you like the taste, knock yourself out: yeah, what people say about how it's made is pretty scary but it's probably still better for you than most of peoples' guilty food pleasures, like Twinkies.

2056 · April 25, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I use it because I like the taste of it. But (1) I am about as far from a purist in matters of food as one can possibly get and (2) I have no known or suspected issues with soy.

De gustibus non est disputandum.

4145 · April 25, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Pre-Paleo days (you know, when I was eating all that "health food") I used some Bragg's aminos on popcorn. My boyfriend and I were in the regular habit of making popcorn on the stove at that time, and I thought this would be an interesting and healthy way to add the salt. Words cannot describe the intestinal distress. My boyfriend, who was against it from the start, didn't understand why we didn't add butter and salt and save ourselves the melting guts. Now looking back on it, I realize that the butter would have been the healthiest part of that snack.

EDIT: Sorry, to answer your question: Bragg's Liquid Aminos is liquid evil. I've used actual soy sauce here and there since going paleo and have noticed no ill effects. I have not tried the coconut aminos.

1498 · April 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Stay away from that stuff.. Made me so ill. Makes a lot of people ill.. Stick with coconut aminos.

3365 · January 27, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Let's not hate on Bragg too much... the ACV is amazing.

20 · April 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

If you want a soy without the gluten use gluten-free tamari. Virtually the same taste as soy, none of the gluten. Liquid aminos are expensive no matter the brand and frankly, taste nothing like soy sauce to me.

10 · June 06, 2013 at 1:04 AM

As it is predigested by HCL acid the protein in Bragg's can be absorbed easier. If your digestion is compromised by a lack of stomach acid (hypochloridia, or cancer treatment etc) this is valuable, for the creation of valuable hormones. Not many products do this.

10 · May 27, 2013 at 8:25 PM

I just watched a National Geographic show on the Amazon. According to the show, at the moment, the #1 threat to the Amazon are the Soy corporations producing soy. The coporations force the locals to sell their land. They then clear the land to farm soy and then export it all over the globe. PLEASE before you consume soy products, be sure to find out where the soy comes from.

10 · October 21, 2012 at 3:39 PM

and why all the worries about sodium. if your worried about it because of blood pressure , no study has proven that reduced sodium or salt intake will lower your BP more than a couple point. And salt is necessary to make stomach acid so you can properly digest your food

1878 · July 26, 2012 at 8:14 PM

LONG LIVE SOY SAUCE! Any Japanese person would agree with me.

3500 · April 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I could see why it might be appealing to some. I notice from the page linked by hot lava that it is not a fermented food, and it has minimal salt. Purely conjecture here, but if you like soy sauce but have a problem with histamines (i.e. you suffer from Chinese Restaurant Syndrome), this may help.

Regardless, it's not something I would use.

11036 · April 25, 2012 at 11:33 AM

I was looking for coconut aminos and came across Bragg's. It was listed as a soy sauce alternative, yet the first ingredient was soybeans. No, thank you!

0 · January 21, 2014 at 6:18 PM

you people are all haters and downright nuts! Braggs is amazing whether the ACV, liquid aminos, nutritional yeast, etc.! About causing intestinal distress....? Crazy! I've been using the aminos for 25 years and it has never once caused any issues whatsoever!

0 · June 30, 2013 at 4:58 PM

In the mid 60's during the scarcity of MSG in the country (Indonesia) I tried to produce MSG by hydrolyzing gluten extracted from wheat-flour in hydrochloric acid. After neutralizing with sodium hydroxide and filtering the broth I expect MSG to crystallize out. It didn't happen but the black liquid tasted so good as good as the Nestle's Maggi seasoning. So by accident I stumbled upon a process to produce a good tasting seasoning. In my opinion the Bragg's liquid aminos is produced the same way except the raw protein source is not wheat gluten but soybean gluten.

0 · June 30, 2013 at 9:13 AM

If you ate soy beans, and then threw up, added bicarb, you would have liquid aminos.

0 · June 09, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I just bought some Coconut Secret RAW Coconut Aminos, it soy free, 65% less sodium than soy sauce, organic, gluten free and non-GMO. It's ingredients are just coconut sap and sea salt.

I love Braggs flavor and believe its unintentional saturation of excitotoxins in regular Braggs soy liquid aminos. HOWEVER...I gave all soy and my beloved Braggs Liquid Aminos due to the content levels of excitotoxins. My brain is fuzzy enough. I do believe Braggs is an ethical company.

This Cconut Secret Aminos has a very light and pleasant flavor. I'm using it for my rice's, beans etc. Today I will be making my veggie patties from my mornings juicing pulp, with added sprouted lentals, nuts etc and I'm thinking this new ingredient plus my new fresh herbs should be freaking fabulous.

Oh, and to Braggs benefit, they have a wonderful organic herb and spice sprinkle blend that is totally delicious. Because their mix is course ground it adds a nice texture to raw food with a little pop of flavor as the spices are chewed. So don't over do it, or you'll over power your dish. In moderation its Ummm gawwwa good!

279 · June 06, 2013 at 3:01 AM

I've read multiple places that Bragg's is super cheaply made, and it has glutamic acid and sodium, which bond in your system to create MSG. Yuck.

0 · June 03, 2013 at 1:28 AM

I love this stuff. I have celiac disease and I have a corn allergy and this is the only thing that I feel really tastes like traditional soy sauce.

0 · May 26, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Patricia is his daughter. She was heavily involved in his enterprise and following in his footsteps.

0 · March 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

So did Paul Bragg become Patricia Bragg in his later years?

0 · March 06, 2013 at 9:48 PM

I LOVE Bragg Liquid Aminos. Tofu clogs my kidneys, but no problem with this soy sauce! For decades I have used a LOT of it, meaning I add it to MANY foods. So I don't have a problem with soy, only with tofu.

Unlike Kikkomann's Teriyaki sauce, It is NON-GMO, un-fermented, & it contains no alcohol. I may start to order it by the gallon to save a few dollars.

(Re the numerous references above to "paleo":: I have type "O" blood-- the blood-type of indigenous peoples, who were hunters-gatherers. I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian but in winter I need more protein so I added [vegetarian] "Quorn Turk'y Roast", which I love. Also, Almond butter.)

5584 · January 27, 2013 at 9:37 PM

i love the taste of soy liquid aminos and used it for years. when i started paleo, it was the hardest thing for me to give up. i used it during the first few months until i found coconut aminos. i didn't like them at first but i've since grown used to the taste. it's sweeter than soy aminos, but it has a good flavor.

0 · January 27, 2013 at 5:08 PM

It was recommended to me by a nutritionist a few years back. (In a hospital!) I thought it was close to soy sauce. I didn't dislike it OR like it - rarely used it and I cook a great deal. Personally, I would stick with low sodium soy sauce instead.

1163 · October 24, 2012 at 5:25 AM

I thought it was basically MSG

1174 · October 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Wow, I always assumed Bragg's was somehow different and 'healthier' because of the marketing I guess. Never really thought about it. I was buying it for years, loved the taste-- and I used to put it on popcorn with olive oil. So yummy.

Interesting that this came up. I have not been using any tamari/soy sauce for a few months. Yesterday decided to buy some "Organic wheat free" kind... adding that to my coconut milk chicken curry made a world of difference. Oh soy sauce how I've missed you! :D

0 · September 08, 2012 at 4:58 PM

God bless you! Yes, absolutely "Brigg's" is just a brand. They have smartely taken out the word "soy sauce" and substituted with "Amino Acids", which is really a great way to make marketing for a brand. THat will pop and stand out in a shelf. The ingredients are the same to soy sauce. The difference I have found is that "Brigg's" have 100 mg of carbohydrates...that's a lot!! In just 1/2 tsp. I definitively get the "low sodium" soy sauce which is cheaper and is the same thing! Sorry, "Brigg's"!!! Thanks!!

6045 · July 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM

Lots of people seem to suggest coconut aminos. Personally, I found coconut aminos to be unbelievably vile and detestable. And it's fizzy, like something that's spoiled. Totally made me wretch. I stick with wheat-free tamari.

0 · July 26, 2012 at 7:58 PM

There's 160 mg of sodium in 1/2 tsp braggs....which is more than Lite Soy Sauce

0 · May 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

This is not that low in sodium compared to soy sauce. The serving size is much lower than that of soy sauce - 1/2 TEASPOON (110mg Sodium), which translates to 660mg Sodium per Tablespoon. San-J wheat-free Tamari is 940-980mg per Tablespoon, or 700-710mg sodium per Tablespoon for the reduced-sodium version. Standard Kikkoman soy sauce is 920mg per Tablespoon. So it's a little lower but not that much less than reduced-sodium tamari.

The coconut aminos I found are about half the sodium of the Bragg's aminos. So that sounds like the way to go if you're looking to reduce sodium, not to mention avoiding soy.

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1012 · April 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

It's good stuff; not the massive amount of salt you find in soy sauce.

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