Select Soy and Save

by Jeff Gelski
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The grain-based foods industry has heard for years how soy applications can add healthy attributes, particularly protein content, to finished products. Recently, ingredient suppliers are speaking more often about another benefit: soy’s potential in reducing costs, particularly as an egg replacement.

That’s not to say the industry should forget about soy’s health qualities. New soy ingredients may even play a role in achieving fiber claims.

US demand for soy products overall is expected to increase 5.1% per year to $8.7 billion in 2009, according to “Soy Products and Markets” published in 2005 by The Freedonia Group, Cleveland, OH, a provider of forecasts, trend analysis and competitive intelligence. Consumer preferences for natural ingredients, an interest in alternative protein sources, weight management concerns and healthy meals and meal replacements will stimulate consumer demand for soy products, according to Freedonia.

Soyatech, LLC, Bar Harbor, ME, a publishing, market research and consulting firm, and SPINS, a San Francisco, CA-based vider of marketing formation on the he and wellness indu were expected to lease “Soyfoods: The US Market 2006” t spring. The 2005 rep valued the US so foods market at mor than $4 billion.

Soy has found a place in bar formulations. Bread, tortillas and cookies are other possibilities. Jean Heggie, marketing director, North America, The Solae Co., St. Louis, MO, sai believes soy can ta breakfast-eating occasions, where soy can provide pr and give consumers a feeling of satiety.

COST-EFFECTIVE SOURCE

Any company exploring the use of soy in applications may look at it as a cost-effective way to add protein and possibly fiber. On April 21, defatted soy flour, f.o.b. Midwest plant, sold for as low as $13.10 per cwt bulk and $14.33 per cwt sacked, or 13c and 14c per lb, respectively.

The possibility of soy saving costs as an egg replacement applies in the case of leavened cakes. Dried egg whites, f.o.b. plant, on April 21, sold for as low as $2.80 per lb, while frozen pasteurized egg whites in less than truckload lots sold for as low as 44c per lb, and liquid pasteurized egg whites went for as low as 32c per lb.

“Basically soy is a very cost-effective source of protein,” said Jon Stratford, sales and marketing manager for Natural Products, Inc., Grinnell, IA. “It has functional qualities that make it work very well with eggs. Egg whites have a very high foamability, but it’s not a very stable foam. Soy protein does not have a lot of foamability, but it’s a very stable foam.”

Natural Products offers Nova 100, which can reduce the amount of eggs in a leavened cake system. Industrial bakers can cut down by half the number of egg whites they use, Mr. d said.

“ u n eed e gg w hites duce t he f oam,” h e ou can’t eliminate together.”

a si mi lar product Foods, Cameron s EggStreme Bakery a s oy-ba se d whole lacer or ex tender d for use i n ca kes, affles, donuts and plicat ions where are used. The powlace both dried egg powder and liquid eggs.

Nutriant Soy Ingredients, a division of The Kerry Group and based at Cedar Falls, IA, offers functional soy powder that it said can be used to reduce egg use by 25% in creme cake applications. The powder is about 50% protein and 18% fiber. About 4.5 lb of whole liquid egg can be replaced with 1.15 lb of functional soy powder plus 6.35 lb of water.

TAPPING INTO TORTILLAS

The type of soy ingredient can affect ingredient costs in tortilla applications, Mr Stratford said. His company offers lowfat soy flour that potentially could be incorporated into any flat bread. Tortilla companies generally use soy protein isolates or soy protein concentrates in tortilla applications. The low-fat soy flour however, could save on costs because it runs about a penny per unit of protein or one penny for every percentage of protein, according to Mr. Stratford.

The Solae Co. already is providing soy protein for Soy-Full Heart Flatbreads from Tumaro’s Tortillas, Los Angeles, CA. Introduced this year, the tortillas come in Wheat, Soy and Flax; 8 Grain Soy and Apple ‘n Cinnamon varieties. Each serving contains 12 g of whole grains, and each tortilla has 3 g of fat and 200 to 420 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. They are a good source of fiber.

Tortilla manufacturers in the future might reach 6.25 g of soy per serving, Ms. Heggie said. The Food and Drug Administration in 1999 approved this health claim: “25 g of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” Food manufacturers since then have sought ways to put 6.25 g, or one-fourth of 25 g, of soy into a serving.

CHANCE FOR FIBER

Like protein claims, fiber claims of “good source” or “excellent source” rank as a goal for many grainbased foods formulators. According to Freedonia’s report, soy fiber will experience favorable gains and find greater use in food items such as meal replacements and processed foods. SunOpta Ingredients, Bedford, MA, offers two forms of soy extracts that may play a role in reaching fiber claims.

SunOpta soy fiber F-200 can enrich total dietary fiber content in products such as bread. Extracted or purified from soy hulls, the ingredient is bland and has a fine particle size, according to Jim Podolske, SunOpta’s group vice-president of technology. The soy fiber F-200 can be used in blends with oat and other fibers or by itself. Potential grain-based foods applications range from chocolate chip cookies to muffins.

Okara, extracted from soy milk, is about 60% fiber and 30% protein and offers water-holding attributes, Mr. Podolske said. The ingredient shows potential in grain-based foods such as white bread, muffins and bars.

“It’s a low-cost ingredient pound for pound,” Mr. Podolske said. “It’s a very good value for how much fiber and protein it contains.”

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