Soy-based ingredients have been used in the baking industry for ages, but bakers are beginning to promote soy content in new ways. Minneapolis-based French Meadow Bakery formulated a bread with 32 mgs of soy isoflavones per serving to attract women interested in lessening menopause symptoms. The bread appropriately is named Women’s Bread.
Flowers Foods, Thomasville, Ga., manufactures a bread with high levels of soy protein. The company’s Nature’s Own Wheat ‘n Soy bread contains 4.3 grams of soy protein per slice and qualifies for a nutrient content claim as an “excellent” source of protein.
These two bakeries realize what other food manufacturers have known for years: soy’s healthful properties are a major selling point for consumers. Soybeans are chock full of many healthful properties, including good fats and protein. These properties, combined with soy’s many applications in the baking industry, provide the ideal ingredient for most bakery food formulas.
In the baking industry, soy flour commonly is used to partially replace wheat flour at levels as high as 20%. This replacement boosts protein levels and attracts consumers seeking low-carbohydrate/high-protein bakery foods.
When replacing wheat flour with soy flour, it is essential to partner with a supplier that has a solid reputation and strict processing standards. These measures ensure that soy flour will not negatively affect taste or texture. Bakers purchasing soy flour should work with their suppliers to select the specific bean and milling for an application. For example, coarser grinds of soy flour are ideal for protein-rich health bars and finer mills are ideal for other baking applications. Bakers also should require their soy suppliers to have an identity preserved program in place. This type of program ensures consistency from harvest to harvest.