Types of Soy

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Common Types of Soy Products

Hydrolyzed Soy Protein

The extraction process of hydrolysis involves boiling in a vat of acid (e.g., sulfuric acid) and then neutralizing the solution with a caustic soda. The resultant sludge is scraped off the top and allowed to dry.

In addition to soy protein it contains free-form excitotoxic amino acids (e.g., MSG) and other potentially harmful chemicals including cancer-causing chemicals in many cases.

A newer method of hydrolysis involves the use of bacteria by itself or in addition to the chemical processes described above.

There is a possibility that genetically-manipulated bacteria may be used.

The food industry sometimes uses large amount of hydrolyzed proteins as a "taste enhancer" because it contains significant amounts of MSG (monosodium glutamate).

This is what is known in the food industry as "Clean Labels" -- adding MSG to food, without having to list it as "MSG" on the label.

In almost all cases, hydrolyzed soy protein contains a significant amount of genetically-manipulated soy. The hydrolyzed protein products currently added to foods should be considered a detriment to one's health. There are much healthier sources of soy protein and soy nutrients.

Miso

A paste made by cooking soybeans and then fermenting the beans with salt in wooden tubs for one to three years.

There are several forms of miso depending upon what grain added to the product (e.g., barley, brown rice). In general, the longer the miso is aged, the darker the color and stronger the flavor.

Miso contains a large amount of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. However, unpasturized miso must be purchased in order to get the beneficial bacteria.

Miso is particularly useful as an aid to improving digestion and the health of the intestinal tract. There is some scientific evidence that fermented products with beneficial bacteria can help to prevent some forms of cancer.

Many people who are sensitive to fermented products and/or eating "anti-candidiasis" diets can tolerate the use of miso without any problem.

Miso is used in soups, sauces, dressings, stir fries, and spreads. Only a small amount is used. In general, lighter forms of miso are used more frequently in the warmer months and darker forms in the colder months.

Miso should be kept refrigerated. Unpasturized miso made with organic soybeans can be found at almost all health food stores.

Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese fermented food made by fermenting boiled soy beans with Bacillus natto.

It can be used as a topping for rice or put in vegetable dishes or soup. Some people do not like the strong taste. Natto can be found in some health food stores.

Shoyu

A soy sauce made from soybeans, water, wheat, and sea salt which has been aged for 2 to 3 years.

Organic soybeans are commonly used and no MSG or artificial additives are added. It can be used in small amounts in stir fries, soups, dressings, sauces, and other dishes. Shoyu can be found in most health food stores.

Soy Cheese

A cheese substitute made from soy milk. It is often found on casseroles, pizza and other dishes which commonly contain cheese. It is important to note that some commercial products which contain soy milk or soy cheese also contain dairy proteins such as whey or casein (caseinates) that some people want to avoid due to allergies or diet preferences.

Soy Milk

A milk substitute made by soaking organic soybeans, cooking and blending the soybeans, and finally straining off the soy milk. Often, vanilla or honey is added at the end of the process. Almost all soy milk on the market is made from organic soybeans.

Soy milk can be used for drink, on cereal, and in cooking. Keep in mind, however, that of the healthier soy products available, soy milk can be difficult to digest for some people. If this is the case, rice milk can be used to replace soy milk in recipes and easily-digestible soy products such as tempeh and tofu can be used to obtain soy protein and other beneficial aspects of soy.

It is important to note that some commercial products which contain soy milk or soy cheese also contain dairy proteins such as whey or casein (caseinates) that some people want to avoid due to allergies or diet preferences.

Soy Protein Concentrate

A processed concentrate made from defatted soybean flakes. It contains largely soy protein, but retains some soy fiber as well.

It is usually made from genetically-manipulated (non-organic) soy. Soy protein concentrate is commonly found in frozen "soy" burgers.

Despite heavily-hyped claims about soy protein concentrate in relation to heart disease, osteoporosis, etc., health-conscious consumers will probably want to limit this processed, genetically-manipulated form of soy and rely largely on healthier soy choices such as soy milk, tempeh, tofu, tamari, natto, etc.

Soy Protein Isolate

A highly-processed protein isolate where the soy protein is removed from defatted soybean flakes.

Soy protein isolate contains over 90% soy protein. It commonly contains genetically-manipulated soy.

While the soy protein in the isolate is easily-digestible, the use of genetically-manipulated soy and the heavy process sing which removes much of other elements of the soybeans make soy protein isolate a product to avoid where possible.

Tofu and tempeh can be used instead as they contain easily-digestible forms of soy protein as well as all of the other beneficial aspects of the soybean.

Soy Sauce

A generic name for a seasoning made from soybeans, water and salt.

There are two main types of soy sauces, Shoyu and Tamari. Some heavily-processed soy sauces which can contain added MSG or artificial flavorings/colorings should be avoided. (Note: Small amounts of a structurally different "natural" MSG can be found in soy sauces, but it doesn't present a problem to most people.)

Tamari and Shoyu are generally made with organic soybeans and can be found at almost all health food stores.

Tamari

A soy sauce made from soybeans, water and sea salt.

It has a slightly stronger flavor than shoyu. Organic soybeans are commonly used and no MSG or artificial additives are added. It can be used in small amounts in stir fries, soups, dressings, sauces, and other dishes. Tamari can be found in most health food stores.

Tempeh

A cake of soybeans that is made by removing the hull of cooked, organic soybeans, mixing with a culture, and aging for a day or two. The culture helps hold the soybeans together in a cake form. It is common to find tempeh made with added ingredients such as vegetables or grains. Tempeh cakes are cut up and added to stir fries, vegetable dishes, and casseroles. Tempeh is high in protein and rich in calcium. Tempeh can be found at almost all health food stores.

Texturized (Soy) Protein

Can be made in a number of ways. Some texturized protein products are similar to soy protein concentrates.

Some forms of texturized proteins can have a high MSG content similar to hydrolyzed soy proteins.

If texturized soy protein is used, look for a product made from organic soybeans. Other high-protein, healthy soy products such as tempeh, tofu, and miso are your best choice.

Tofu

A white soybean cake made from cooked soybeans and nigari (magnesium chloride).

Tofu contains a significant amount of protein and is rich in calcium. It is an easily digestible form of soy. Tofu is used in soups, stir fries, sauces, dressings, burgers, and many other types of dishes. Tofu tends to absorb the flavors/seasonings added to the dish. Tofu is made with organic soybeans and can be found in almost all health food stores.


The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer .  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation.  A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions 

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