Protein has become an essential element of a balanced and healthy diet and people are looking for more interesting sources. Soy protein concentrate is one of the latest sources of protein that is emerging as a popular choice – and with good reason.
Soy protein concentrate is made from soybeans, a legume that is a natural source of complete protein. Soy protein concentrate is extracted from the dehulled, dry, and defatted soybeans that are then processed into a powder substance. The concentrate is made by mechanically extracting the protein portion of the soybean using the industry gold standard method – fluid bed extraction process. The soybeans are finely ground, water and hexane solvent is added to dissolve fat, and the plant’s protein is separated from its other components. The resulting product is soy protein concentrate, which contains at least 70%-90% protein, 1-2% fat, and some carbohydrate.
Soy protein concentrate is often used in place of animal proteins like beef, chicken or pork, providing a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative source of food. It contains all nine essential amino acids, the building blocks for protein, and the human body cannot produce them. In fact, soy protein concentrate is the only plant source of complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids, which are essential for the maintenance and growth of cells in the body. Furthermore, soy protein concentrate is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Because it is made without animal products, soy protein concentrate is vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, making it a great alternative to meat-based proteins. According to the American Cancer Society, soy protein concentrate can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and increase the intake of beneficial fatty acids. Additionally, several studies suggest that it can improve cholesterol levels and the cardiovascular system, possibly helping to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Last, but equally important, is the fact that soy protein concentrate is free from saturated fats and cholesterol, unlike conventional sources of animal proteins.
In addition to being a healthier source of protein, it is also a great option for those looking to maintain their weight or lose excess body fat, as it has much fewer calories than most animal proteins. Additionally, the fact that it can be used to replace less nutritious food sources and is high in fiber helps with digestion and feeling full for longer.
Finally, soy protein concentrate is highly versatile and easy to incorporate into many dishes. It can be used in a variety of recipes, such as shakes, smoothies, protein bars, breakfast meals, main dishes and baked goods. For example, it can be used as an alternative to ground beef in tacos, burgers, and lasagna, and can also be used as a thickener for soups, stews, and sauces. It can also be used as an egg substitute in baking, lightly fried in a pan, or stirred into oatmeal, pancakes, or breads.
Overall, soy protein concentrate provides a convenient and nutritious way to add more protein to one’s diet without sacrificing flavor. Furthermore, its various health benefits, versatility, and affordability make it an attractive choice to many.
A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Process of How Soy Protein Concentrate is Created and Transported to Your Dinner Plate
If you’re a health foodie, you’re probably already aware of the numerous health benefits of soy protein. From its ability to aid weight loss to its potential health benefits for postmenopausal women, consuming soy protein is undoubtedly a nutritional decision that should not be taken for granted.
But many people are unaware of how exactly soy protein concentrate (SPC) is created and what goes into the process from the soybeans’ origin to the point when it finally reaches your dinner plate.
In general, there are three steps involved in the journey from the farm to your kitchen table: growing the soybeans, transforming them into SPC, and its transportation from the processing facility to the store.
This comprehensive guide offers a comprehensive overview of these three steps so that you can understand every aspect of how soy protein concentrate is brought to your home.
Growing the Soybeans
The journey begins with the cultivation of the soybeans. Soybeans are grown in temperate climates and may be harvested at different times depending on where they’re grown. In North America, they are usually harvested between mid-August to mid-September while in Asia they are harvested from September to October.
When cultivated, special care must be taken to ensure that the optimal conditions exist for the crop to produce high-quality soybeans. This includes high levels of nitrogen in the soil, adequate amounts of sunlight, and a scheduled irrigation system. A poplar rotation system is used in most locations which help to keep soils nutritious and full of organic matter.
Most soybeans are farmed conventionally and some crops might involve the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Typically, the desired variety of soybeans is determined by its intended use which determines everything from its desired size, color, and flavor.
Once the soybean matures, they are usually harvested through a process called “combining” where a machine unloads the beans and segregates them according to their maturity. Depending on the location, the beans may be stored in large storage bins or shipped off to production facilities right away.
Processing the Soybeans into Soy Protein Concentrate
Once the soybeans arrive at the production facilities, a series of steps needs to take place in order to convert them into soy protein concentrate. First, the soybeans are sorted out according to their size and grade as well as checked for foreign matters, overripeness, and similar indicators of quality.
The beans may then be washed using water, softened and roasted before the defatting process begins. During the defatting process, the oil from the beans is removed to produce low-fat soy flour which is then ready for the solubilization process.
The solubilization process involves an alkaline solution of either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide which is used to dissolve the insoluble proteins of the soybean that would otherwise make it not digestible. The entire process is relatively simple and can be done in a short period of time.
Once this process is complete, the solution is then refined by separating the proteins, fiber, and other components of the soybean. During the protein separation process, the pH of the solution is adjusted to create an optimal environment for the proteins to precipitate. The proteins are then separated from the solution and skimmed off the surface.
Once the proteins are separated from the mixture, they are then dried and milled into a fine powder which is the basis of the soy protein concentrate. This powder is a source of rich proteins which can be added to various foods in order to provide the consumer with a healthy source of protein.
Transporting the Soy Protein Concentrate to the Consumer
Finally, the soy protein concentrate needs to be transferred from the production facility to the store in order to make it available to the consumer. This is done through the use of bulk containers or trucks which are capable of carrying large quantities of SPC at one time.
The containers and trucks used to transport the SPC are usually made of insulated materials which keep the product at a consistent temperature even during longer journeys. Additionally, the containers are often designed to comply with sanitation and food safety regulations which guarantee that the product arrives in the store free of contamination.
Once the SPC arrives to the store, it is then available to the consumer who should be able to purchase it in either bulk or pre-packaged forms. The consumer can then mix it with other ingredients to create a healthy and delicious meal.
Soy protein concentrate is an excellent source of protein and a variety of essential minerals and vitamins. By understanding the three-step process from the soybeans’ origin to the consumer’s dinner plate, you can make an informed decision about this source of nutrition, knowing what goes into making it and how it gets to your dinner table. From the soybeans’ cultivation to its transformation into a protein concentrate and its transportation from the processing facility to the store, the journey of SPC is a fascinating one and should be appreciated by all health foodies.
|Vitamin B1||0.32 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.14 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.72 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.06 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.13 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.34 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||7.249 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||12.013 grams|
|Total Sugars||20 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||0.04 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||0.01 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||0.05 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||0.08 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||0.08 g|
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.02 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.18 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||0.2 g|