Soya bean has taken the place of meat in the diet of Chinese, Japanese and other Asiatics. Its notable characteristics are its large proportion of assimilable protein and fat and its lack of starch and small content of sugar. Soya nuggets/chunks or “Bari” is commonly referred to as vegetarian meat. It is prepared from defatted (DOC) soya flour by the process of extrusion cooking. During the process, the protein in the flour undergoes structural changes and forms a fiber like network. When soaked in water, the texturized nuggets absorb the water and develop meat like and chewy characteristics (hence the reference to “vegetarian meat”).
They are a rich source of protein. Among the vegetable proteins they contribute a maximum level of 50% protein. As they are free from cholesterol they are also commonly used as meat substitutes.
It is used in cooking especially as a protein rich substitute for meat. The beans can be processed in a variety of ways. Common forms of soy (or soya) include soy meal, soy flour, soy milk, tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP, which is made into a wide variety of vegetarian foods, some of them intended to imitate meat), tempeh, soy lecithin and soybean oil. Soybeans are also the primary ingredient involved in the production of soy sauce (or shoyu).