The Soy Connection for Health Professionals

Health & Nutrition - Spring 2018 - Vol 26, No 2 The “Clean Label” Movement

In This Issue: 

  • The term “clean label” has no agreed upon definition nor has the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publicly entered the dialogue to clarify its stance. The term generally refers to food formulations with shorter ingredient lists, without artificial/synthetic chemicals, and with familiar ingredients. The most common claims are “free from artificial colors and flavors,” “no preservatives,” and “only natural ingredients.”
  • While it is difficult to say precisely what constitutes a “clean label,” the interest in eating this way is increasingly tied to concerns about the environmental impact of the foods we eat. Therefore, it is ironic that at a time when the impact of dietary choices on the environment are beginning to influence consumer purchases, soy protein-enhanced meat products are actually perceived as being less environmentally friendly. It is well established that soybeans are an especially efficient means of producing protein and life-cycle assessments show that the SPPs are also an environmentally efficient means of delivering protein even though they require additional processing in comparison to the whole soybean.

The “Clean Label” Movement: Dietary Problem or Health Solution?

Over the last five years, “clean label” food products have swept through the conventional food supply. Literally every food and beverage category has been affected from dairy to bakery, baby foods to snack foods, alcoholic beverages to water, and though not human food, even dietary supplements and pet food. According to research from Nielsen and Label Insight, overall sales of clean label food and beverages grew 1.2% in the past year. And while consumer awareness has increased not only in regard to product claims related to clean labels but to what ingredients are actually in the products, the intent of the food movement and the specific impact of clean labels on otherwise nutritious, accessible foods, isn’t always aligned. Thus, the case with soy and soy ingredient derivatives. Read more

Nutrient Quality Enhanced in Products When Soy Components Added to Foods

Concentrated sources of soy protein, commonly referred to as soy protein products (SPPs), are widely used by the food industry for their functional properties, such as enhancing moisture content and increasing shelf life. These concentrated sources of protein, which include isolated soy protein (ISP), soy protein concentrate (SPC) and soy flour (also textured soy protein or textured vegetable protein), are also used to increase the protein content of a wide variety of products such as energy bars and breakfast cereals. These protein sources form the basis for creating a variety of meat analogues, such as soy burgers, which have become increasingly popular as more people opt to consume plant-based meals. By definition, ISP, SPC and soy flour are approximately 90%, 65% and 50% protein, respectively. Read more

Soy Components Add Protein

The nutritional profile and functional properties of soy and its constituents (oil, protein, fiber) influence a surprising number of food products in the market today. Soy as an ingredient in foods adds nutrition like protein, healthy polyunsaturated fat, phytonutrients and dietary fiber. The health benefits of soy have been studied extensively. Various soy products are viewed as health promoting, and may play a role in weight loss, improving glucose tolerance, lowering bad cholesterol, and possibly reducing risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers. Read more