LOVERS of Oriental cooking can take heart. The compounds that give soy sauce its flavour may also protect against cancerous tumours, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Their report, in Cancer Research, says that mice fed the flavour-giving substances developed far fewer stomach cancers than control animals, after both groups were exposed to a carcinogen.

Soy sauce has previously been suspected of being one of the causes of high rates of stomach cancer in Japan, but this has never been proved.