Hoisin Sauce Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/15/22 •  8 min read

What are hoisin sauce benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are hoisin sauce pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on hoisin sauce benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about hoisin sauce benefits and side effects. This will include hoisin sauce benefits for your health and potential risks, hoisin sauce sustainability, if hoisin sauce is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if hoisin sauce is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about hoisin sauce benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Hoisin Sauce Benefits And Side Effects


Hoisin sauce health benefits may include:

Hoisin sauce side effects may include: 

Additionally, hoisin sauce is…

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02/17/2024 07:01 pm GMT


Water footprint: unknown

Carbon footprint: unknown

Destruction: low, hoisin sauce production is relatively sustainable, there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, be sure to buy non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Hoisin sauce is…


Kills: none, hoisin sauce production does not directly kill any animals

Harms: none, hoisin sauce production does not require the usage of any animals

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from hoisin sauce production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Hoisin sauce is…


Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Hoisin sauce…

What is hoisin sauce made of?

Hoisin sauce is typically made of fermented soybean paste, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, chiles and a sweetener such as sugar.

hoisin sauce is likely acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is hoisin sauce alkaline or acidic?

Hoisin sauce is likely acidic. Despite containing a fermented ingredient (fermented soybeans) which is alkaline, hoisin sauce is processed and contains a sweetener (often sugar), two features that make this food likely acidic.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

hoisin sauce may or may not be gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is hoisin sauce gluten free?

Sometimes hoisin sauce is gluten free. Typical ingredients would make this condiment gluten free. However, commercial hoisin sauce often contains wheat flour as a thickener and soy sauce (which may contain wheat).

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

hoisin sauce contains a common food allergen: SOY, possibly WHEAT.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Does hoisin sauce contain a common food allergen?

Yes, hoisin sauce contains a common food allergen: soy and possibly wheat. Many people may experience allergic reactions to hoisin sauce.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

hoisin sauce is likely sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is hoisin sauce eco friendly? Is hoisin sauce sustainable?

Hoisin sauce production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

hoisin sauce is typically vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is hoisin sauce vegan?

Yes, hoisin sauce is typically vegan. Ingredients often include fermented soybean paste, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, chiles and a sweetener such as sugar. In the event the sugar has been processed using bone char, it would meant that hoisin sauce is not vegan.

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

hoisin sauce may have laborer issues and human rights concerns (depends on brand).

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is hoisin sauce a product with laborer concerns?

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Check out this list of food to buy fair trade.

This post was all about hoisin sauce benefits and side effects.


Hoisin sauce, FoodData Central – USDA

Manchurian Tomatillo-Hoisin Sauce – Wild Game Recipes

Hoisin Sauce – Center for Nutrition Studies

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.