Soy in the diet

The soybean plant has its origins in East Asia. It is considered one of the oldest crops in the world and has been appreciated by the Chinese for thousands of years as an excellent source of protein and nutrients.
In Western industrialized countries, soybean has gained popularity only in recent years. Whether as a soy drink, soy sausage or tofu, the legume is considered a particularly healthy food. A downer for consumers, however, is the fear of genetically modified soybeans.

What is in the soybean?

  • The soybean is like the peas, beans and lentils to the legumes and has the highest protein content in this group. It is a very high quality vegetable protein.
  • Soy also has a favorable fatty acid composition. It contains few saturated fatty acids and a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Like other vegetable oils, soybean oil does not contain cholesterol. Both factors together have a positive effect on lipid metabolism.
  • Soybeans are a good source of fiber. With 50 g soybeans can cover 1/3 of the daily requirement of fiber. Dietary fiber is an important herbal ingredient that helps regulate bowel function and promote healthy intestinal flora.
  • Soybeans make a good contribution to meeting the needs of many vitamins, eg. B. Vitamin B 1, B 2, folic acid and vitamin E.
  • Soy is rich in potassium and magnesium.

From miso to tofu

Miso: Spicy soybean paste made by lactic acid fermentation. It is used especially in Japanese cuisine as a basis for soups and stews (instead of vegetable or meat broth), but also for spreads, spicy sauces, dressings and dips of all kinds.

Soy drink: Vegetable milky beverage produced by squeezing soaked and finely ground soybeans. The soy drink is well suited as an alternative for a cow's milk protein allergy and lactose intolerance (lactose intolerance). It should be noted, however, that the calcium content is lower than in cow's milk. The soy drink also serves as the basis for making products such as soy desserts, etc.

Soybean oil: Soybean oil is extracted mainly by extraction from and subsequent refining. However, it is also available gently pressed, unrefined soybean oil. Soybean oil is widely used in ready-made products such as margarine, mayonnaise, dressings, etc. As a by-product of the production of soybean oil, a protein-rich press cake is produced, which is often used as a starting material for the production of TVP (textured vegetable protein).

Tofu: The basis for the production of tofu is the soy drink. This becomes a quark-like mass through a coagulation process. After removal of excess liquid by squeezing results in a cut-resistant quark-like mass. Tofu in its original form is almost tasteless. It is suitable for spicy or sweet food. Tofu can be roasted, baked, grilled, fried and tasted raw or processed with vegetables, cereals, in a salad or on casseroles.

TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein): Meat-like product made from soy protein isolates. To produce the soy meat mass, the degreased soybean meal is processed together with water in a special machine under high heat and high pressure. At the end of the manufacturing process, flavors and colors are added to the product for flavoring and the desired shape (eg as cubes or granules) is cut. For preparation, the soy pieces must be soaked in water or broth and then processed further.

Genetic engineering included?

Genetically modified food must be clearly and clearly labeled in accordance with legislation. When it comes to genetic food, the label must say "genetically modified" or "made from genetically modified ....". Investigations by the supervisory authorities of the federal states in 2006 have shown that the number of violations of the genetic engineering labeling is very low.

However, in the supermarket you can find innumerable products that were directly or indirectly involved in the production of genetic engineering (eg oil, lecithin, aromas of genetically modified soya as ingredients of ready-to-eat foods), which contain a proportion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) below that for the Marking 0.9 percent threshold. Many producers use non-genetically modified soybeans for the production of pure soy products.

Due to the uncertainty of many consumers, some producers have also made a legal commitment to mark this on the label. The consumer then finds, for example, the reference "without genetic engineering". For this, the manufacturer must prove that an application of genetic engineering is excluded at all stages of processing. Therefore - a closer look when shopping is worthwhile!

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