Most formulators and nutritionists realize that soy protein provides many functional and nutritional benefits in foods. These benefits include providing better yields and moist texture in processed meats and protein-based satiety when added to beverages or nutrition bars. However, in all cases, when added to prepared foods or nutritional products, soy is considered a definite allergen as it is listed as one for the 8 top allergens found in foods as follows:
- Tree Nuts
All of us are concerned about the labeling and health concerns of having an unwanted allergen in our product. But here are some facts which might help us to re-consider soy protein use:
- The largest survey conducted found only 0.0005 percent of adults are allergic to soy protein.1
Cow’s milk allergy is about 40 times more common than soy allergy.1
- The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that only 0.4 percent of children are allergic to soy protein. Of those, an estimated 70 percent will outgrow their allergy by age 10.2
When designing a prepared food or nutritional food for adults, it is vital to weigh whether our soy protein use or rejection is based on allergen labellling dictates or remote risk concerns about allergenic effects of soy protein products.
- Savage, J.H., et al. “The natural history of soy allergy.” J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2010. 125(3): p. 683-686.
- Vierk, K.A., et al. “Prevalence of self-reported food allergy in American adults and use of food labels.” J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2007. 119(6): p. 1504-10.