Soy Allergen Concern

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:

  • Peanut
  • Tree Nuts
  •  Milk
  • Egg
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

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.

  1. Savage, J.H., et al. “The natural history of soy allergy.” J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2010. 125(3): p. 683-686.
  2. 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.

Source: http://www.soyconnection.com/soy-wisdom

How sustainable is soy?

SPI Group has been the home of many protein products over the years (whey, wheat, rice, pea, beef).  But our favorite has always been soy.  Why?  First it is sophisticated, we can use soy protein for nutritional or functional improvement in almost every food product.  Second, soy is a complete protein, with a PDCASS of 0.99 it contains all of the essential amino acids required for growth in infants and at risk populations.  Soy is an equivalent protein to animal protein for school food service and it costs less in-use.  Third, it is available.  Soybean use for food is 2-5% of the US crop meaning we can always expand how much humans consume.   This also means soy protein production is dependent on nothing, it is not a waste stream or intermediate product.  Soy protein comes from soybeans.  Straight up.

The last and most important reason that soy protein is important today is that we can grow more soy protein with fewer resources than any other complete protein source:

One acre of farmland can produce:

  • 20 pounds of beef
  • 78 pounds of eggs
  • 82 pounds of milk protein products
  • 356 pounds of soy protein

Have you ever visited my favorite soy video?  Something about the music and the way the data jumps off the screen is compelling. Click here for the DuPont video.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The scoop on soy and breast cancer is that soy is a great source of protein, and it has very strong links to reducing breast cancer risk. The below is taken from the Soyfoods Association of North America:
“A growing body of research shows that eating a healthy diet that includes soyfoods protects against breast cancer. In an article published December 8, 2009 in JAMA, Dr. Shu of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center reported results of a four year study following 5000 Chinese women with breast cancer that show higher intakes of soyfoods were related to decreases in breast cancer recurrences and death. A 2008 study from the University of Southern California found that the more soyfoods a person consumed, the lower the risk of breast cancer. Women who consumed one serving of soyfoods per day (or at least 20 mg of soybean isoflavones, a bioactive compound found naturally in soy) had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who consumed less than one-quarter of a serving per day (5 mg of soybean isoflavones). These results confirmed earlier findings from a 2006 study that soyfood consumption reduced breast cancer risk by 14 percent.”
For the full article please visit SANA’s website.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer


In 2009 my husband and I completed the Avon 2-Day Breast Cancer Walk. I walked in honor of two customers recently diagnosed. One of these women is now cancer free, the other is still fighting. One in four women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.