Ahoy, Soy! Patent Opens Up Possibilities
SoyLink in Oskaloosa, Iowa, has been issued a patent that covers proprietary technology used to produce highly functional soybean protein powders. The patent includes methods to deflavor soybeans as well as milling them to the smallest particle size commercially available in the industry. "SoyLink sees this as the technology of the future for soy processing operations," says Dr. Noel Rudie, the company's vice president for research and operation. "This is truly a win-win situation. Because we produce a whole bean product, the consumer gets soy milk with all of the benefits of soy including natural soy fiber. At the same time, the food processor benefits by eliminating the okara waste stream commonly found in the conventional process, allowing for higher yields." Soy flours have seen limited acceptance in the manufacture of soy milk and other dairy analogues in some markets because of the beany flavor and chalky texture they develop. SoyLink technology addresses both these objections by removing the beany flavor before the powders are milled to a small particle size (less than 30 microns) that allows the soy beverage manufacturer to produce products without the chalky texture.