Total revenues in the soy protein ingredients market are forecast to reach almost USD 13 billion by 2022. With an average growth of over 7% per year, soy proteins are among the fastest-growing ingredients for food products.
The greatest increase within this category is expected in soy protein isolates, which have a very high protein content of approximately 90%. Moreover, they boast high dispersibility in milk and milk-like beverages, a relatively neutral taste, low fat content, high fibre and oligosaccharides. Soy protein isolates are commonly used in milk and meat alternatives, functional foods and weaning foods.
Soy proteins are a preferred source of non-animal protein, and they have helped food manufacturers manage their costs and the profitability of their products. Applications include baked goods, confectionary, emulsion-type meat products, milk alternatives, functional beverages and breakfast cereals.
The ban on genetically modified soy products in the EU has also affected conventional soy product markets and the size of exports from countries with genetically modified crops. Possible health risks have resulted in many manufacturers around the world opting to use exclusively products that are free of genetic modification, and in many countries, any product manufactured using genetically modified ingredients must be labelled accordingly.
The continued growth of plant-based nutrition and a greater awareness of matters related to health have boosted the expansion of the soy protein market. The disadvantages of soy protein use mainly concern the somewhat nutty and grassy aftertaste. However, this has led to the development of aromas and blends of spices that result in a more pleasant taste for the consumer.