Low viscosity soy protein developed for snacks and cereals, says Solbar

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soy protein

A new soy protein isolate with a bland flavour profile, which has low viscosity when subjected to the heat and shear of extrusion, was developed to meet the demands of the soy crisps, extruded snacks and cereals market, said Israeli firm Solbar Industries.

The company said it invested over $1m and 18 months in the development of enzymatic hydrolysis technology to successfully produce Solpro 842, a 90 per cent soy protein for this market.

Developments in twin screw extrusion processing technology have enabled snack and breakfast cereal processors to incorporate soy into cereal-based products.

Alex Shnaiderman, a spokesperson for Solbar, told NutraIngredients.com that the extrusion process for snack, crisps and cereal products requires the right viscosity in order to obtain the right puff texture and flow during the production process.

"The viscosity and viscoelastic properties of the protein have a crucial influence in controlling those parameters to achieve the desired end product like high protein crisps and nuggets."

The company added that developments are underway to also use its new hydrolysis technology to produce soy isolate proteins with a low flavour profile and improved functionality targeted at the beverage and protein bar markets.

In September last year, Solbar launched a calcium-fortified soy protein isolate for beverages, which it said combined the properties of non-GMO soy protein isolates with calcium and natural stabilisers and achieved stabilisation and a high nutritional profile without compromising taste.

Soy has received attention for its hypolipidaemic and hypocholesterolaemic properties, as well as its ability to lower blood pressure, improve arterial compliance and endothelial function, insulin resistance and weight loss in obesity.

But many companies have been trying to find ways to base products on soy, by masking its negative taste. Soy foods are often associated with beany aroma and bitter taste, while addition of soy into extruded products can have negative impacts on texture, such as decrease in expansion and increase in breaking strength.

University of Illinois scientist Soo-Yeun Lee, in a 2008 study published in the Journal of Food Science,​ developed soy based formulations of breakfast cereal employing 10 grams of protein and five grams of fibre intended to overcome the taste and texture issues with soy.

However, she said that in a taste test with the soy-based cereal and commercial products, while the brands still scored higher for aroma, texture, taste and overall enjoyment the soy formulations scored an average of 50 per cent on an acceptance scale, compared to an average of 70 per cent for the commercial cereals.

"Diets high in soy protein are also effective in combating obesity,"​ Lee said. "Soy protein is very high-quality protein, and high-protein meals eaten early in the day stick with you so you eat less."

"We're still experimenting with different flavours and sweeteners, but I'm confident that soy-based, high-protein cereals can not only optimize nutrition, they can also taste good,"​ said Lee at the time of the study’s publication.

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