Soya flour is becoming more predominant in food formulation owing to its nutritional value, functionality and low cost.
Apart from a high protein content, the beans also contain soy isoflavones, fiber calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, giving bakers the opportunity to add the nutritional value to baked goods that today’s consumers are looking for.
Modified soya flour – the treated version of soy flour, using chemical, physical or enzymatic treatment to obtain the desired end product – is considered safe and provides texture and structure to food products.
Extended shelf life
Moreover, large-scale production and the increased consumer demand for longer shelf life and quality of baked products are leading to the use of wide range of additives in the baking industry including modified soy flour, enzymes and emulsifiers.
According to Future Market Insights, the global modified soya flour market is projected to grow at a volume CAGR of 3.7% between 2017-2026, driven by its use in the bakery, snacks and confectionery segments.
While modified soya flour may lack some of the health benefits of raw soya flour, it is growing in popularity due to its functional characteristics, Anurup Roy, associate consultant of Future Market Insights, told BakeryandSnacks.
“Its versatility and low cost make it a lucrative product offering from the manufacturer point of view,” he said.
“In terms of demand, multifunctional application and ease of availability also make it an ideal ingredient of choice, while its lack of residue and off-taste help manufacturers retain the original flavors of the end product.”
“High-enzyme soya flours with lipoxidase activity can result in bleaching of carotenoid pigments in dough, leading to whiter bread crumbs,” added Roy.
“Defatted soy flour is being used in bakery and confectionery products on a large scale due to its capacity to hold water, while enhanced sheeting strength helps in producing better layering and finished product,” he said, noting more manufacturers today are adding soya flour with high NSI (high solubility in water) directly to the dough or cereals.
Roy explained thermal treatment is the mostly commonly used method today to modify the soy protein, necessary to eliminate the volatile and lipoxygenase compounds (enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids to form a peroxide of the acid) found in soy.
“Thermal treatment reduces protease inhibitor activity at a certain level, without having any adverse effect on the flour’s nutritive benefits,” he said.
Soya flour is made by grinding soyabeans into a fine powder.
It comes in three forms: whole or full-fat (containing natural oils); defatted (with oils removed) with either high or low water solubility; and lecithinated (with lecithin added).
Soya flour contains 50% protein and 5% fiber, as well as higher levels of protein, thiamine, riboflavin, phosphorus, calcium and iron than wheat flour.
When used in baked goods, it is often mixed with other types of flours and is best used that requires a nutty flavor.
“Heating also increases digestibility of soy proteins,” he said, noting the most popular modes of treatments include heating at different steam temperatures, live steam heating, microwave heating and roasting.
Heat treatments also bleach the flour and to enhance the flavor of the bread.
The researcher said modified soya flour is expected to witness increasing demand for extruded snacks, projected to reach $31bn by 2019.
Extrusion is a process that combines several operations such as mixing, cooking, kneading, shearing, shaping and forming, and a popular means of preparing healthy snacks.
Innovation with flavors in extruded snacks is further boosting the growth of extruded snacks market.
The research company also forecasts the use of modified soya flour market in Asia Pacific (except Japan) to grow fastest – at a CAGR of 4.7% during the period – with the Middle East and Africa poised to be the second fastest growing region.