The Roots of Soy
The forerunner of today’s functional soy protein ingredients was developed in China and dates back to 2838 BC. Called tofu, this soft ready-to-eat cheese-like product was precipitated with calcium sulfate or magnesium chloride rather than acid. The long history of the little round bean is a fascinating story. Modern world interest started in the United States in the very early years of the 20th century. Soy bean as an ingredient meant soy flour some hundred years ago, but it is only since the early 1960s that soy protein ingredients became commercially viable for food and processed meat applications.