Following a strictly plant-based diet is challenging and exciting as it allows you to try more food items and recipes than ever before. It is a tough task knowing what foods to substitute to create favorite meals and figure out meat alternatives to make vegan and vegetarian versions of the dishes.
Choosing a meat substitute that can satisfy nutritional needs while also providing the best flavors is one of the key aspects of creating fulfilling dishes. Textured soy protein is one of the more wholesome choices to add to the diet. As one of the first and most popularly commercially available meat alternatives for vegetarians, textured soy protein is made from a defatted soy flour mixture that has been processed into pieces of various shapes and then dehydrated.
Textured soy point (TSP) is an extruded and fibrous structured product that is mainly used as a meat analog or extender. Its unique texture and mild flavor have boosted its use in sauces, plant-based chili mixes, and veggie burgers.
Over the last decade, vegetarian diets have become mainstream among the global population owing to an increasing focus on ethical, ecological, and health factors. A shift from an omnivore diet to a vegetarian diet has increased the intake of nutrients from plant sources and well-planned dietary approaches.
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Increasing interest has been paid to protein from plant sources due to mounting evidence that consumption of food high in plant proteins can drastically reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other metabolic disorders. With the rapid adoption of a vegetarian lifestyle, a wide range of soy-based food products have become extensively available in grocery stores.
Demand for soy protein and soy-based products can be attributed to the nutritional and versatile properties of soybeans that are perfectly suited for food technological transformations. Textured soy protein is a highly nutritious soy product with high protein, low fat, and lower carbohydrate content which makes it an excellent alternative to meat. In addition, textured soy protein is considered safe for people with celiac disease and they can enjoy gluten-free meals.
The health benefits and effects of soy protein have stimulated the interest of the scientific community and extensive research has been carried out to understand the importance of adding soy protein to the diets. According to Reports and Data, the global textured soy protein market size is expected to reach UDS 4,303.5 million in 2028, registering a CAGR of 8.40% during the forecast period.
Textured Soy Protein – A Versatile Protein Source
Textured soy protein, also known as textured vegetable protein, is s concentrated protein product that is made from soybeans and is a versatile product with a plethora of uses including meat substitutes when seasoning and spices are added. Textured soy protein is available as dried chunks, slices, flakes, powder, and granules and needs to be hydrated before use.
Textured soy protein has a mild taste on its own but can easily absorb flavor from the concoction it is cooked in. Textured soy protein can easily work with the majority of conventional foods which largely contain ground beef such as burgers, tacos, and lasagna, among others.
Textured soy protein enhances the texture and nutritional content of dishes and is rich in fiber and proteins which can support heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Soy’s quality also makes it a very viable and attractive alternative for individuals who seek non-animal sources of protein and those who are lactose intolerant.
Over the recent years, evidence from research studies has reported numerous benefits of textured soy proteins including a reduction in plasma lipid profiles, increased oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and reduction of blood pressure. Textured soy protein is also rich in isoflavones – which are considered phytoestrogens that exhibit estrogen-like effects. They compete with endogenous estrogen for estrogen receptor sites in breast tissue, in turn, potentially reducing the risk for breast cancer.
Soy foods and proteins have been recognized as sources of high-quality protein and healthy fat for ages but over the recent past, these foods have been extensively studied and investigated for their role in chronic disease prevention and treatment. Soy protein can reduce hot flashes and favorably affects renal functions, alleviates depressive symptoms, and improves skin health.
Textured soy protein has a similar texture to ground meat when cooked and absorbs spices and flavoring well and is thus an extremely versatile vegan and vegetarian grocery staple. Textured soy protein can be found in health food stores and supermarkets. Moreover, the texture of soy protein is lightweight and is generally used in backpacking recipes. Due to its relatively low cost, high protein content, and longer shelf life, textured soy protein is also used in schools and for disaster preparedness.