Soy (Glycine max) is a versatile bean and a rich and cheap source of protein. It is a legume that is indigenous to East Asia, but now widely cultivated around the globe.
It is used for making foods like soy milk, soy sauce, tofu, soybean paste and soy cake. It is also used in fermented foods like miso, natto and tempeh, which are commonly consumed in some Asian countries.
Soy vegetable oil is another product, manufactured by processing the soybean crop. Soy is also sometimes added to foods like breads, cereals, and meat products, and used as a meat substitute in vegetarian products such as soy burgers and soy hot dogs. Foods containing whole soy are a good source of protein for vegetarians as they contain significant amounts of all the essential amino acids.
In spite of being a rich source of protein and nutrients, soy also has some negative effects on health. Soybeans contain large amounts of phytate, which can interfere with absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
Soy is rich in isoflavones, which function as phytoestrogens i.e. plant-based compounds that can activate estrogen receptors in the human body. These isoflavones are classified as endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with the normal function of hormones in the body.
The key isoflavones in soy are genistein, daidzein and glycitein. This can cause reduced estrogen activity due to the isoflavones blocking the actual, more potent estrogen from binding, or it can lead to an increased estrogen activity due to the isoflavones activating the receptors.
Therefore, the normal biological function is disrupted. Also, isoflavones, due to their estrogenic activity, make women more susceptible to breast cancer. Soy can also increase the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and interfere with thyroid function. Importantly, soy proteins can act as allergens that can cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
Food Business Operators shall analyse the food products for Soy content in foods as per Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006. The infant food products containing soy should be labelled cautiously in compliance to the labelling guidelines.
It may be brought to your notice that we have expertise in testing food products for allergens. We strictly follow the FSSAI guidelines, and our labs are accredited by NABL.
Our testing lab (Arbro) has been identified as one of the top 5 laboratories in India for food testing services. We have the latest equipments, backed by a strong team of experienced scientists available in our facilities to test for allergens in foodstuffs.
Please contact us today using the quick query form on the right or by calling us now on +91-11-45754575 to get your food samples testing for Allergens.