Soyfood descriptions (1/3)

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When it comes to a versatile food, it is hard to beat the soybean.

Soybeans not only offer great health benefits, but they are easy to add to your diet and they taste good. You are probably already eating more soy-based foods than you realize. When you read the label on some of your favorite prepared foods you may notice that some type of soy product is listed on the label - like lecithin, textured soy protein, soy protein concentrates and many more. Over 75 percent of vegetable oils and fats on the market today are soybean oil. Soybeans are popular in food manufacturing because of their versatility.

The soyfood descriptions listed here represent the most common soyfoods on the market today. Some of these foods may be familiar, and others may be new. All of them are worth trying.

Most items may be purchased through natural, health or Asian food stores. Some, like tofu and soybean oil, can be found in supermarkets.

If you have questions about these soyfoods don't hesitate to call one of our information resources.

Edamame (Sweet Beans)

Food Use Soybeans (Whole Soybeans) Isolated Soy Proteins | Lecithins Meat Analogs (Meat Alternatives) Miso


Nondairy (Soy) Frozen Desserts


Organically Grown Soybeans

Soy Cheese & Soy Yogurt

Soy Flour & Grits

Soy Meal & Flakes




Soy Protein Concentrates

Soy Sauces (Tamari, Shoyu, Teriyaki) Tempeh

Textured Soy Proteins

Tofu & Tofu Products

Edamame (Sweet Beans)

Edamame, also known as "Sweet Beans," comes from large soybeans harvested when the beans are still green. These sweet tasting beans can be served as a snack or a main vegetable dish. They are high in protein and fiber, and contain no cholesterol. Edamame often is found in Asian and natural food stores.

Food Use Soybeans (Whole Soybeans) As soybeans mature in the pod they ripen into a hard, dry bean. Most soybeans are yellow. However, there are brown and black varieties. The eight essential amino acids found in soybeans are necessary for human nutrition. Whole soybeans (an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber) can be cooked (similar to cooking other dry beans) and used in sauces, stews and soups. Whole soybeans that have been soaked can be roasted for snacks. Whole soybeans can be purchased in natural food stores and some supermarkets.

Organically Grown Soybeans

These are similar to Food Use Soybeans, except they are produced without the use of agricultural chemicals.

Isolated Soy Proteins

When soybeans are processed, the hulls and oil are removed, leaving "defatted flakes." Soy flakes are used for defatted soy flour, soy concentrates and soy isolates. When protein is removed from defatted flakes the result is soy protein isolates, the most highly refined soy protein. Containing 92 percent protein, soy protein isolates possess the greatest amount of protein of all soy products. They are a highly digestible source of amino acids (building blocks of protein necessary for human growth and maintenance).


Extracted from soybean oil, lecithin is used in food manufacturing as an emulsifier in products high in fats and oils. They also promote stabilization, antioxidation, crystallization and spattering control.

Powdered lecithins can be found in natural and health food stores.


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