Before, soybeans are not popular due to their beany taste and negative impression that they are used as fillers to substitute meat. But today, the health benefits that they offer have been acknowledged and recognized. Soybeans have been known to have large amounts of isoflavones, which can help protect cells from damage by acting as antioxidants. Consistent soy protein consumption is directly linked with lowering levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides.
Epidemiological studies have indicated that populations that regularly consume soy and soybean products have lower incidence of breast, colon, and prostate cancers, heart diseases, osteoporosis, and menopausal problems. The USFDA recommends that eating 25 grams of soy protein a day, as long as it is consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Soy protein can be used in a variety of food products to provide the characteristics that health-conscious consumers look for – foods low in fat, cholesterol, and calories. Consumers tend to eat more than one kind of soy foods. Aside from the traditional soy foods available in the market, they tend to search for other soy products to be able to eat soy foods frequently. The development of functional foods utilizing soybeans will, therefore, contribute to the improvement of the quality and choice of the foods offered to consumers that are beneficial to health and well-being.
The Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) has developed products from soybeans – Soybean Spread Peanut Flavor and Soybean Gel that comes in three flavors.
The Soybean Spread is a light brown creamy spread made from roasted soybeans and flavored with roasted peanuts. The product is appropriate as filling for sandwiches, biscuits and other baked goods, and also for dishes such as kare-kare.