According to the 2004 U.S. Census Bureau, Americans’ consumption of edible fats and oils is heavily favored toward soy-bean oil. In fact, soybean oil accounts for 80% of edible fat and oil consumption in the United States, according to the 2004 U.S. Census Bureau.
However, these numbers are expected to shift in light of new trans-fat labeling rules that have bakers straying from partially hydrogenated soybean oil in favor of alternative oils and shortenings. As a result, manufacturers and farmers are developing innovative technologies to modify the composition of soybean oil to eliminate or sharply reduce the levels of trans fats that are formed through the partial hydrogenation process. This provides just one of many examples of the collective soy industry evolving its product lines to accommodate an evolving baking industry.
Soy has many applications in the baking industry and is used in a variety of products. Baking Management details these ingredients’ new technologies and uses in the baking industry.
The numbers for U.S. edible fats and oil consumption are quite staggering:
As a domestic crop with versatile uses and ideal pricing, soybean oil has stepped up as the No. 1 choice for food manufacturers. Worldwide, the ingredient remains the main oil use, but it does not enjoy the same consumption advantages over other oils. According to the United Soybean Board, worldwide vegetable oil consumption is divided between the following sources:
The baking industry uses soybean oil in a variety of applications, mainly in its partially hydrogenated form, which provides a solid shortening product that can be tailored to accommodate desired melting profile. Unfortunately, the hydrogenation process causes the formation of trans fats. Food & Drug Administration’s mandatory labeling of these unhealthful fats has caused many bakeries to remove partially hydrogenated soybean oils from their ingredient legends and replace them with tropical oils, such as palm oils.
The collective soy industry has banded together and are developing new soybean oil modification processes and varieties to ensure soybean oil continues to be a viable and healthful oil for use in the baking industry.
Enzymatic interesterification eliminates the hydrogenation process through the rearrangement of fatty acids with a natural enzyme. Interesterified soybean oils have become viable solutions for bakers that demand trans-free solutions but need to maintain reduced melting profiles, stability and textural properties.
Liquid soybean oil or fully hydrogenated soybean oil also can be blended with other oils to provide the ideal shortening with the desired health properties. The blending of a hardstock shortening and liquid oil gives bakes a variety of options to tailor a shortening solution for a specific application.
The latest developments in soybean oil involve trait innovations that create soybean varieties with reduced saturates, reduced linolenic acids and increased oleic acids. These new soybean varieties were designed to meet the changing needs of the food industry. Despite their relative newness in the industry, many large food manufacturers already have made commitments to use these enhanced trait soybeans.
Yum Brands Inc. recently announced that its 5,500 KFC restaurants throughout the United States will switch from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil to low-linolenic soybean oil. Kellogg Co. also has announced that it would use low-linolenic soybean oil in its food products in an effort to eliminate trans fats.
The fluctuating prices of eggs have caused headaches for a variety of bakers, forcing them to seek alternative solutions for their bakery food formulas. Soy-based egg replacement systems provide bakers with a cost-effective solution that maintains functionality.
One manufacturer’s egg replacement system consists of roasted full fat soy flour, wheat gluten, corn syrup solid and alginate. The dry ingredient is shelf stable and costs about 30% less than whole egg powder. The ingredient system functions best in low-volume products such as cookies, waffles, pancakes, muffins and quick breads. The product, which is stored in ambient temperatures, can be added with other dry ingredients or hydrated before mixing and incorporated similar to a liquid egg.
The use of soy the protein continues to grow in the baking industry in a variety of applications. Its functional uses extend from improving texture and shelf life to whitening bread. Bread products especially benefit from the use of soy flour, isolates and concentrates. In these applications, soy protein improves water uptake, retention and elasticity.
Bakers using soy protein can obtain an FDA-approved health claim if a finished product meets a variety of requirements. The model health claim can read: “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of [name of food] supplies ## grams of soy protein.”
This claim can be used on bakery foods if they are low in saturated fat and cholesterol as defined by FDA regulations and contain at least 6.25 grams of soy protein per reference amount customarily consumed (RACC).
The use of soy protein heart health claim is rapidly growing as consumers become more familiar with the health benefits of soy. The use of soy ingredients also continues to grow as manufactures enhance the uses of these ingredients for a changing baking industry.
isoflavones: Isoflavones are chemically similar in structure to estrogen and, in fact, are weak estrogens. The two primary isoflavones in soybeans are daidzein and genistein. Isoflavones may directly inhibit bone resorption and prevent the onset of osteoperosis and the weak estrogenic effect of isoflavones has been postulated as being protective against various forms of cancer.
protein: A large molecule made up of amino acids. Soybeans are exceptionally high in quality protein: 35% to 38% of the calories in soybeans come from protein, and the soybean is the only vegetable offering a complete protein profile.
linoleic acid: On of the two polyunsaturated fatty acids found in soybean oil. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids can lower blood lipid levels and thus cholesterol. Soybean oil contains about 50% of this essential fatty acid.
linolenic acid: An omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid found in many seed-derived oils such as soybean oil and fish oil. Soybean oil contains about 8% of this essential fatty acid.
oleic acid: A monounsaturated fatty acid. An oil high in oleic acid is stable and resists rancidity. Oleic acid also contributes to increased shelf life.
soy flour: 50% protein, soy flour is made from roasted soybeans ground into a fine powder. Soy flour comes in three forms: natural or full fat, which contains natural oils found in the soybean; defatted, which has the oils removed during processing; and lecithinated, which had had lecithin added.
soy protein concentrate: 70% protein, soy protein concentrate comes from defatted soy flakes. It is a highly digestible source of amino acids and does not have a strong flavor on its own.
Source: The United Soybean Board’s complete Soy Glossary is available at www.talksoy.com