Textured soy protein
Soy chunks or textured soy protein, often called TSP, is used by the food industry in many foods products, mainly foods that resemble meat products such as beef, pork or chicken. Soy chunks are also available in health stores. It is granular in texture and once rehydrated it has the texture of minced beef. To use textured soy protein read the instruction on the packages. Normally it says to rehydrate the protein in cold or hot water and to let it rehydrate for a few minutes. When you add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice the textured soy protein rehydrates quicker. Textured soy protein can replace, completely or partly, ground beef in most recipes. Textured soy protein is also available in larger pieces that take on the consistency of stew meat after rehydration or as ready to eat soy jerky
. Textured soy protein has a shelf-life of more than a year when stored dry at room temperature. After rehydration, it should be used at once or stored for a max 3 days in the refrigerator.
Production of Soy Chunks
Soy chunks are made from de-fatted soy flour that is compressed and processed into granules or chunks. During this process, the structure of the soy proteins changes in fibres.
Most soy chunks are produced from de-fatted soy flour, soy flakes or soy concentrates with an extrusion process. This extrusion technology can form a fibrous matrix which is almost similar than that of meat. In the 1960s texturing of soy protein made it possible to develop physical structures with the same eating sensation of meat.
Industrial use of Textured Soy Protein
The principal use of texturized soy protein products is as a meat extender in meat product such as patties, fillings and meat balls etc. Up to 30% of the meat can be replaced by hydrated texturized soy products without loss of eating quality.
Textured soy protein is rich in protein and extremely low in fat and sodium. Textured soy protein shall contain at least 35% protein on a moisture free bases. It is also a good source of fiber and isoflavones.