Soy protein isolate is a dry powder food ingredient that has been separated or isolated from the other components of the soybean, making it 90 to 95 percent protein and nearly carbohydrate and fat-free.
In the Market
Soy protein isolate is used in making a variety of foods. It may be found in:
- dairy-type products such as beverage powders, infant formulas, liquid nutritional meals, and some varieties of liquid soymilk
- bottled fruit drinks
- power bars
- soups and sauces
- meat analogs that resemble conventional foods in color, texture and taste
- breads and baked goods
- breakfast cereals
- many weight and muscle gain products in the fitness market.
Soy protein isolate can be purchased as flavored or plain soy protein shake powder. Many brands are sold in canisters with expirations dates stamped on the bottom. Several brands are fortified with calcium and other minerals and vitamins, along with sweeteners and flavorings. Individual, single serve packages are the utmost in convenience for busy consumers. The most economical form of soy isolate is plain powder, with no other ingredients added.
Soy protein isolate is sold in the health food section or the pharmacy within the regular supermarket. Natural food supermarkets and health food stores carry the widest variety of products. Other sources for soy protein isolate powders are mail order, food cooperatives, buying clubs, on-line shopping and mass-market stores.
Soy Protein Isolates are commonly added to food products like shakes, energy bars and cereals
- Hain Celestial Group, Inc – Health Valley Solair Bars in chocolate, berry and peanut butter, Soy Flakes and Soy O’s Cereals
- Kraft/Back to Nature – Oat & Soy Crisp Cereal
- Worthington Foods/Kellog’s – Kellogg’s Smart Start Soy Protein Cereal
Give Me Five
- Enjoy a high-protein energy bar with soy protein isolate.
- Make a soy smoothie by mixing vanilla soy protein isolate powder into unsweetened soymilk along with berries, mango or peach chunks.
- Create a power-packed bowl of oatmeal by adding honey roasted soy nuts, a couple scoops of soy protein isolate powder and chopped dates or raisins to hot oatmeal.
- Boost protein in macaroni and cheese, casseroles, soups or stews by stirring in a couple servings of plain soy protein isolate powder.
- Mix vanilla, chocolate or strawberry powdered soy shake mix (made from soy protein isolate) into vanilla, chocolate or strawberry soymilk.
In the Kitchen
Soy protein isolate beverage powder is an easy way to incorporate soy protein into the diet. Kept sealed and dry, the powder is shelf-stable for many months. Look for use-by dates on the container.
Soy protein isolate supplies a high quality of protein that contains all essential amino acids needed for growth. Soy protein isolate is equal in quality to animal products and is almost fat free containing less than 1 percent fat and unlike animal products contains no cholesterol and little or no saturated fat.
In addition to the excellent quality of soy protein, scientists have found that soy protein may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol and increasing the flexibility of blood vessels. The FDA has approved a health claim stating that “25 grams of soy protein in a daily diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can help reduce total and LDL cholesterol that is moderately high to high.” Much of the human and animal research on the health benefits of soy has been conducted using isolated soy protein and should testify to its short-term safety and efficacy.
Important bio-active components found naturally in soybeans are being studied in relationship to relieving menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, maintaining healthy bones, and preventing prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers. The content of bio-active components in soy protein isolate varies from product to product depending on how the soy protein is processed.
The Making of Soy Protein Isolate
Advances in processing technology have led to a variety of ways soy protein isolate can be produced. Generally, soy protein isolate is made from de-fatted soybean flakes that have been washed in either alcohol or water to remove sugars and dietary fiber. Soy protein isolate is used through out the food industry for both nutritional and functional reasons.
|1-ounce plain soy protein isolate powder provides:|
|Calories: 96||% Daily Value|
|Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17 (2004)|
Source: USDA -Iowa State University Database on the Isoflavone Content of Foods, Release 1.3, 2002, USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory Agricultural Research Service
|Exchanges: 3 lean meat/meat substitute
Source: Based on information from Exchange Lists for Meal Planning, 2nd edition, 2002.
The American Diabetes Association/The American Dietetic Association