What is soy milk? Soy milk is made by soaking soybeans, grinding them with water. The fluid which results after straining is called soy milk. You can make soy milk at home with basic kitchen tools or with a soy milk machine. Soy milk is most commonly found in aseptic cartons. Most of the soy milk available in the market is flavoured and fortified with extra calcium or vitamins. The most popular flavours are vanilla and chocolate. Some producers add thickeners to their soy milk to give it a mouth feel of cow's milk. Traditionally, soy milk has a beany taste which is well accepted by the Chinese, but less by the Western palate. By using correct processing techniques, this beany taste can be reduced or eliminated. Recently, with the recognition of its health benefits and with its improved flavor and texture, soy milk hasnow a high and rising acceptance. Sometimes, use is made of protein isolates from soy bean which are mixed with water, oils, sugars, stabilisers to give it a milky appearance. This type of product is not as wholesome as real soy milk. In Europe, legislation prohibits soy milk manaufacturers to label their product as soy milk. Often they use the denomination soy drink. Making your own soy milk In China and Japan fresh soy milk is made daily using a simple, centuries-old process of grinding soaked soybeans and pressing the soy milk out of the beans. There, soy milk is sold by street vendors or in cafes. Soy milk is served hot or cold and is often flavored with soy sauce and vegetables to produce a spicy soup. Many people find the cost of commercial soymilk to be prohibitive and make soy milk at home. They soak and crush soy beans and filter the liquid, which is soy milk. Some have invested in a soy milk machine that cooks and grinds the soy beans and makes soy milk, fresh in your own home. There are different brands of soy milk machines on the market (Miracle Soy Wonder, SoyJoy Automatic Soy Milk Maker, SoyToy Soy Milk Machine, Soyapower). You don't need these machines to make good quality soy milk, but they make life easier and give a high yield. Nutritional values of soy milk Plain soy milk is very nutritive: it's an excellent source of high quality proteins, isoflavones and B-vitamins. Soy milk is free of the milk sugar (lactose) and is a good choice for people who are lactose intolerant. Also, it is a good alternative to those who are allergic the proteins of cow's milk. History of soy milk The oldest evidence of soy milk production is a Chinese mural incised on a stone slab. It shows a kitchen scene that proves that soy milk and tofu were being made in China during the period A.D. 25-220. The oldest written reference to soy milk appeared in also in China at about A.D. 1500., in a poem "Ode to Tofu" by Su Ping. The earliest European reference to soy milk was in 1665 by Domingo Fernandez de Navarrete and in 1790 by Juan de Loureiro, a Portuguese missionary who lived in Vietnam. All these early references to soy milk only mentioned soy milk as part of the process for making tofu. Only 1866, Frenchman Paul Champion, who had traveled in China, mentioned that the Chinese drank hot soy milk for breakfast. Soy milk was first referred to in the United States by Henry Trimble in 1896 in the American Journal of Pharmacy. In 1910, Li Yu-ying, a Chinese living in Paris founded the world's first soymilk factory. In 1917, the first commercial soymilk in the US was produced J.A. Chard Soy Products in New York. The first calcium fortified soy milk was produced in 1931 by Madison Foods, Tennessee. This Madison Foods company was run by the faculty of the Madison College. In 1939 Miller started to produce canned liquid soy milk, which was called Soya La, because the dairy industries prevented Miller from calling the product "soy milk". How to make soy milk? It's very easy to make soy milk at home. If you make soy milk on a daily basis you might find an automatic soymilk maker (also called soy milk machine) such as Soyajoy, Soylife, Miracle, Soyquick, Soyawonder or Vegan Star very helpful. Step1: Ingredients You need about 125 g whole soya beans to make 1 liter of soy milk. Step2: Soaking and dehulling the soya beans Clean the soya beans and soak them in water for 10 - 16 hours. Although not necessary, you can remove the hulls be kneading the soya beans and flushing the loose hulls with water. Removing the hulls makes the extraction process more efficient. An alternative is to crack the soya beans before soaking. The hulls come loose easily and can be washed away. When you use cracked soya beans you need less soaking time: 6 - 8 hours. Step3: Heating the soya beans (optional) Heating the soya beans will destroy enzymes which are responsible for the development of beany flavour. This heating can best be achieved by microwaving the wet soaked soya beans during 2 minutes. Step4: Grinding the soya beans Grind the soaked soya beans and 1 liter water in a blender. Sieve the mixture trough a cheese cloth and recover the soy milk. The insoluble material which remains on the sieve is called okara, and can be used as an ingredient for bread making or as cattle feed. Step5: Boiling the soy milk Heat the soy milk till boiling point and continue boiling for about 5 to 10 minutes. After cooling, the soy milk is ready and can be kept in the fridge for another 3 days. Step6: Flavouring the soy milk (optional) The soy milk can be drunk as such but taste can be improved by adding some salt (also cow milk contains a lot of salt). With soy milk you can easily make your own fruit smoothie. Fruit smoothies are very healthy because they contain soy milk and a lot of fresh fruits. Benefits of Soy Milk As the taste of commercial soy milk improves more and more people are drinking it as enjoyment. But many people drink soy milk for the added health benefits. So what are the benefits of drinking soy milk as compared to cow’s milk? Benefit 1: Soy milk contains only vegetables proteins Vegetable proteins have the advantage that they cause less loss of calcium through the kidneys. It is known that a diet rich in animal (and dairy protein) creates a higher risk for osteoporosis. Benefit 2: Soy milk contains no lactose About 75 percent of the world population cannot tolerate lactose. Some ethnic groups are more affected than others. For example 75 percent of Africans and 90 percent of Asians have lactose intolerance. As an additional benefit, soy milk contains the prebiotic sugars stachyose and raffinose. These prebiotic sugars boost immunity and help decrease toxic substances in the body. Benefit 3: Fewer people are allergic to soy milk Only 0.5 percent of the children are allergic to soy milk, whereas 2.5 percent is allergic to cow’s milk. Benefit 4: Soy milk reduces cholesterol The saturated fats in cow’s milk are unhealthy and increase your cholesterol. The protein in cow’s milk has no benefits for the cholesterol. Soy protein can decrease cholesterol levels. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration of US) confirms that soy protein, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart. The FDA recommends to incorporate 25 grams of soy protein in your daily meals. Benefit 5: Soy milk contains no hormones Cow’s milk contains natural hormones (from the cow) but also synthetic hormones, which can influence the good working of our own body. The synthetic hormone rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) increase milk production by as much as 20 percent. Benefit 6: Soy milk does not cause insulin dependent diabetes Although no general consensus exists among scientists, some studies have shown an association between drinking cow's milk in early life and the development of insulin dependent diabetes. This association does not exist with soy milk. Benefit 7: Soy milk is rich in isoflavones The presence of isoflavones is the most important and unique benefit of soy milk. Each cup of soy milk contains about 20 mg isoflavones (mainly genistein and daidzein). Cow’s milk does not contain isoflavones. Isoflavones have many health benefits including reduction of cholesterol, easing of menopause symptoms, prevention of osteoporosis and reduction of risk for certain cancers (prostate cancer and breast cancer). Incidents of these cancers are very low in countries with high intake of soy products, including soy milk. Isoflavones are also antioxidants which protect our cells and DNA against oxidation. Nutritional values of soymilk Soymilk is an excellent source of high quality protein and B- vitamins. Soymilk is not a rich source of calcium, this is way most commercial soymilk products are fortified with calcium. Soymilk naturally contains isoflavones, plant chemicals that help lower LDL ("bad" cholesterol) if taken as part of a "heart healthy" eating plan. Nutrional values of soymilk (per 100g): Water 93.3 g Energy 33.0 kcal Energy 138.0 kJ Protein 2.8 g Fat (total lipid) 2.0 g Fatty acids, saturated 0.214 g Fatty acids, mono-unsaturated 0.326 g Fatty acids, poly-unsaturated 0.833 g Carbohydrates 1.8 g Fiber 1.3 g Ash 0.27 g Isoflavones 8.8 mg Calcium, Ca 4.0 mg Iron, Fe 0.58 mg Magnesium, Mg 19.0 mg Phosphorus, Mg 49.0 mg Potassium, K 141.0 mg Sodium, Na 12.0 mg Zinc, Zn 0.23 mg Copper, Cu 0.12 mg Manganese, Mn 0.17 mg Selenium, Se 1.3 µg Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 0.0 mg Thiamin (vitamin B1) 0.161 mg Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.070 mg Niacin (vitamin B3) 0.147 mg Panthotenic acid (vitamin B5) 0.048 mg Vitamin B6 0.041 mg Folic acid 1.5 µg Vitamin B12 0.0 µg Vitamin A 3.0 µg Vitamin E 0.010 mg [Source: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference] Calcium Fortification of Soy milk Dairy products provide most of the dietary calcium in Western countries, where soy milk is becoming increasingly popular. Natural soy milk contains only 200 mg calcium per liter, which is 6x less than cow milk. Therefore, most commercial soy milks are fortified with extra calcium up to a level 1200 mg/L, which is the same as that of cow milk. Manufacturers of soy milk use this specific level of 1200 mg/L to provide an alternative calcium source to cow milk. However, the question is do we really need such high calcium levels in soy milk? Obviously, manufacturers want to avoid the debate about optimal calcium levels and simple use same levels as found in cow milk, which is traditionally a recommended source of calcium. However, studies have shown that a higher intake of milk and calcium from milk is associated with a higher risk of osteoporosis. The Harvard's Nurses' Health Study, which involved about 57,000 women, showed that women who consumed the most calcium from dairy products had almost double the rate of hip fractures compared to women who received the least calcium from dairy products. Sources of Calcium in Soy Milk Most manufacturers use tri-calcium phosphate as calcium source. Other calcium sources are calcium carbonate and vegetable calcium from seaweed (Lithothamnium Calcareum). In addition, the calcium in the water, used in the soy milk manufacturing process, can be significant. The calcium level of municipal water or well water can range from 0 mg/L up to 600 mg/L. Bioavailability of Calcium in Soy Milk A study by Robert Heaney and colleagues entitled "Bioavailability of the Calcium in Fortified Soy Imitation Milk, with some Observations on Method" (2000, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) found that calcium from soy milk, fortified with tri-calcium phosphate, has an absorption efficiency of 75% compared to cow milk. Another study by Yangdong Zhao entitled "Calcium Bioavailability of Calcium Carbonate Fortified Soy Milk is Equivalent to Cow's Milk in Young Women" (2005, The Journal of Nutrition) found that calcium carbonate in soy milk had the same bioavailability than calcium from cow milk and had a higher bioavailability than tri-calcium carbonate. The lower bioavailability of tri-calcium phosphate is probably coming from the phosphate, which precipitates the calcium in the intestine. Soy milk contains phytochemicals, such as isoflavones and phytic acid, which may influence calcium absorption. Some studies have shown that isoflavones stimulate estrogen receptors in the intestine and increase calcium absorption, whereas other studies failed to show such effect. Phytic acid is known to inhibit calcium absorption but the low levels (less than 0.01%) found in soy milk are unlikely to have any influence. Soy milk powder Soy milk powder is soy milk from which all water has been removed, similar to cow's milk powder. Soy milk powder has a white to beige colour and mixes readily with warm or cold water. It can be made of plain soy milk or can contain additional ingredients, such as sugar, flavours and calcium. While it is not as common as cow's milk powder, soy milk powder can be found in some stores in the US. In Europe it is even more difficult to find, but can be easily ordered online. Popular brands of soy milk powder, which can be ordered online, are NOW Instant Soy Milk Powder and EcoMIL Instant Soya Drink Powder. Benefits of soy milk powder Soy milk powder contains all the good ingredients of soy milk. There are different reasons why you would buy soy milk powder instead of pre-packaged soy milk: Soy milk powder is more environmental friendly. This sounds a bit contradictory since a lot of energy is required to remove the water. The process of dehydration is carried out in a sequence of evaporator units, where steam from the preceding unit is used as the heat source in the next unit, resulting in low energy consumption. Soy milk powder results in the use of less packaging waste, compared to soy milk packed in cartons. Soy milk powder is easier to store and does not spoil. When you go on holiday and are not sure about the availability of soy milk at your destination, you can carry some soy milk powder with you. Usually, soy milk powder is less expensive than pre-packaged soy milk brands. Disadvantages of soy milk powder The taste of soy milk made from soy milk powder will always be a bit inferior compared to commercial soy milk in cartons. The texture may be slightly sandy and the taste a bit bran like. Soya: versatile product! In China, the soya bean has been cultivated and used in different ways for thousands of years. Soya was considered as one of the 5 holy crops, besides rice, wheat, barley and millet. Soya beans are very versatile: soya beans can be used as whole soya beans, soya sprouts, or processed as soya milk, tofu, tempeh, soya sauce or miso. It is easy to make you own soya milk, tofu and tempeh at home. Soya is also used as ingredient for non-food products, such as candle wax and biodiesel. Soy candles are becoming more popular because they burn longer and healthier. Soya: healthy product! The increasing popularity of soya foods is mainly attributed to the large amount of health benefits which are associated with the use of soya beans. The role of soya in the prevention of chronic diseases continues to be a top priority for scientist around the world. The FDA has confirmed that foods containing soy protein may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Only people with soy allergy (about 0.5 percent of the population) should avoid eating food containing soy protein. Over the past years, there has been an increasing interest in the antioxidant effects of soya and in particular the health benefits of isoflavones. Soya is very important for vegetarians and vegans. Soya has a high protein content and soya is rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers. The easiest way to consume soya is by drinking soya milk. What are soybeans? Soybeans belong to the legume family and are native to East Asia. They have been an important protein source in the Orient for over five thousand years. Soybeans have only been introduced to the Western world since the 20th century. Soybeans grow on a variety of soils and a wide range of climates, ranging form tropical Brazil to the snowy island Hokkaido in the north of Japan. As soybeans mature in the pod, they ripen into hard, dry beans. Although most soybeans are yellow, There are also rare varieties which are black, brown or green coloured. A given area of land planted with soybeans can produce much more protein than land planted with other crops, or if the land were used to raise cattle. Storing soybeans Fresh soybeans, or edamame, should be refrigerated and used within two days. Frozen edamame can be stored in the freezer for several months. Dried soybeans can be kept in an airtight container for a very long period. Cooking soybeans Soybeans are most often transformed in other foods such as tempeh, tofu, miso, shoyu, soy milk or other food ingredients. However, cooked soybeans can also be used as an ingredient in soups, sauces and stews. To prepare two cups of soybeans for cooking, soak them in about six cups of water for about eight hours. This soaking shortens the cooking time, improves the texture and appearance of the beans and removes some of the indigestible sugars. Drain, rinse and cook the soaked soybeans in about six cups of fresh water. Do not add salt at this point or it will delay the softening of the soybeans. Pressure-cook the soaked soybeans for about 40 min. When you cook soybeans, make it worth your while by cooking two or three times what you need and freezing the rest for later use. Protein source Whole soybeans are an excellent source of protein and dietary fibre. Soy protein is the only vegetable with a complete protein. Soy protein has recently attracted a lot of attention because of its ability to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Results from research have prompted health professionals to request the government to officially give a stamp of approval for soy's cholesterol-lowering effects. The Food and Drug Administration approved the cholesterol- lowering health claim for soy, indicating that daily consumption of 25 grams of soy protein (6.5 grams of soy protein per serving) may lower LDL cholesterol. What is tofu? A staple in Asia for 2,000 years, tofu is known for its extraordinary nutritional benefits, as well as its versatility. Tofu, also known as soya curd, is a soft cheese-like food made by curdling soya milk with a coagulant. Tofu is a rather bland tasting product that easily absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients. Tofu is sold in water- filled packs or in aseptic cartons. Fresh tofu is usually packaged in water and should be refrigerated and kept in water until used. If the water is drained and changed daily, the tofu should last for one week. Tofu can be frozen for up to three months. Freezing will change its texture however, it will make the tofu slightly chewier. Soy Milk Soy milk is a high protein, iron-rich milky liquid produced from pressing ground, cooked soybeans. Creamy white soy milk resembles cow's milk but in fact differs from its dairy counterpart in a number of ways. Not only is it higher in protein and iron content, but it is cholesterol-free, low fat, and low sodium. It is, however, lower in calcium and must be fortified with calcium when given to growing children. Those who are allergic to cow's milk or are unable to digest lactose, the natural sugar found in cow's milk, find soy milk easy to digest since it is lactose-free. Those who are calorie- conscious can purchase reduced fat soy milk (called lite soy milk) but this is often lower in protein as well. Some do not enjoy the taste of original soy milk, so manufacturers now offer flavored soy milk. Soy milk can be substituted for milk in nearly any recipe. Those who merely want to boost protein intake often add powdered soy milk to other beverages; others find it economical to purchase it in powder form and then make soy milk when they add water to the powder. Children under one year of age should be given a formula of soy milk specifically developed with their nutritional needs in mind. Soy milk that is intentionally curdled is known as tofu. History The soybean (Glycine max) is the world's foremost provider of protein and oil. The Chinese have been cultivating soybeans for thousands of years. The first written record of Chinese cultivation dates to the third century B.C. Many believe that the Chinese have been making soy milk for centuries—it has been sold in cafes and from street vendors for generations. So important to the Chinese are soybeans for the production of soy milk and tofu that soybeans are considered one of the five sacred grains along with rice, wheat, barley, and millet. Soybeans made their way to Japan by the sixth century and to Europe by the seventeenth century. The beans came to the United States on ships from Asia and were used as ballast and often discarded once the ships docked. But soldiers during the Civil War substituted soy beans for coffee beans and were thus making their own form of soy beverage. By the nineteenth century, soy beverages were available in Europe as well. However, the popularity of soybean products, including soy milk, came slowly to the United States. African-American agriculturist George Washington Carver began studying the soybean and touting its nutritive value in the early twentieth century. Shortly thereafter, doctors became intrigued with their use for its nutritional value, particularly for children unable to drink cow's milk. Soybean production has increased in the United States throughout the twentieth century and is a staple crop for many midwestern farmers, allowing soy milk producers a steady supply of the main ingredient. Soybeans are grown in 29 states and are our second largest cash crop. Until the 1950s, soy milk was made in small quantities at home or in small shops and was not produced on a mass scale in this country. At this time, soy milk was bottled like soft drinks. Much of the technology now used in the production of soy milk was developed by the Japanese who use soy beverages (and other soy products) in tremendous quantities. In the 1970s, when interest in soy and other non-dairy products soared, manufacturers began adding flavors to the bland soy milk. Shortly thereafter, the development of aseptic packaging (in which the milk is packaged in such a way that no air is introduced which can contain harmful bacteria) brought the beverage into the modern era. Raw Materials Soy milk requires only soybeans and water (and steam) for its creation. Soy milk is nearly always fortified with calcium, vitamins D, and certain B vitamins. Highly concentrated flavorings, such as vanilla, carob, chocolate, and almond are often added to the finished product. Many companies add sugar and salt to the drink to make it more palatable to the consumer. The Manufacturing Process The soybean is a low acid food and as such, is a good host for the breeding of harmful bacteria. Thus, the manufacturing process is "aseptic," meaning that at a certain point in its production, the soy milk is sealed off from any air because it might introduce dangerous bacteria into the product. The development of successful, affordable aseptic production of soy milk has been of tremendous importance in the mass production of this beverage. The initial phases of the production of soy milk do not have to be sealed off to air; only later does this happen. Procuring the raw materials 1 Soy milk manufacturers very often work directly with farmers so that the kind of soy bean that produces good soy milk is grown (one manufacturer gives the farmers the seeds for the soybeans they require). Generally soy milk producers seek large soybeans called clear hylem. Once the soybeans are harvested and brought to the plant, the beans are cleaned in a grain elevator or bin on or off premises. The process may begin with the blending together of four to six tons of soybeans at one time. Some factories have two or more production lines running at one time, and thus use several tons of soybeans in a day. De-hulling 2 The soybeans are steamed and split in half. This loosens the hull on the bean. A vacuum sucks off the hulls. Invalidating the indigestible enzyme 3 Next, soybeans must be cooked in order to invalidate, or counteract, a specific enzyme which makes them indigestible to humans. This cooking occurs in the Enzyme Invalidator, in which the de-hulled soybeans are cooked using high pressure, Water, and high temperature (creating very hot live steam) to invalidate that enzyme. Rough grinding 4 The cooked soybeans then fall into the first rough grinder or mill. Water is added to the machine and the bean pieces are roughly ground in this first milling. Finer grinding 5 Although they have been ground once, the cooked soybeans are still rather coarse. Thus, the fine grinder further pulverizes the bean pellets into small particles. The hot slurry is white in color with minuscule particles of insoluble soybean particles. Extracting 6 A large centrifuge is then used to extract the tiny bits of soybean that are insoluble and cannot be included in the finished product. These particles are separated from the soy milk slurry using a centrifuge. A rubber roller presses the soy milk slurry against the surface of a drum within the centrifuge, forcing the liquid inside the drum while the fibers remain on the outside of the drum. The drum is then scraped of these fibers. These soybean fibers are physically removed from the production process at this time. This waste soy fiber is called okara and it resembles mashed potatoes. A separate process dries the okara for use other than human consumption. The fiber-less soy liquid is raw soy milk at this point and is referred to in the industry as jun. Good quality soybeans are harvested, cleaned, hulled, and pressure cooked. Next, the cooked soybeans are ground by a number of grinders that transform the beans into a milky slurry. The slurry is placed in a centrifuge that extracts any insoluble bits of bean. The separated soy liquid called jun is blended with vitamins, flavorings, and sugar and then sterilized and homogenized. The hot milk is cooled and packaged in such a way that it is never exposed to air. Blending 7 The jun is injected into large tanks and flavorings, sugar, and vitamins are mixed separately in smaller tanks. Ingredients of the smaller tank are infused into the larger tanks, thus blending the flavors with the raw milk. Aseptic sterilizing 8 At this point, it is essential that the jun be sealed within the equipment until the end of the manufacturing process (including packaging) in order to keep out air and ambient bacteria and germs that can grow in low-acid soy milk. Sterilization occurs with pressure and very hot temperatures within a vacuum for a short period of time. Homogenizing 9 From the sterilizer, the hot milk is sent to the homogenizer. This breaks down the fat particles and prevents them from separating from the rest of the mixture. In the homogenizer, which is essentially a high-pressure piston pump, the is blended as it is drawn into the pump cylinder and then forced back out in a repetitive motion. Cooling 10 Next, the hot milk is piped to the cooling tank. Here, the hot milk passes next to cold plates that lower the temperature of the soy milk to room temperature. Storing 11 The cooled milk is sent to the aseptic (sealed) tanks and held here in preparation for packaging. Here, the soy milk is refrigerated, pressurized, and sealed to ensure no bacteria thrives in the milk. Packaging 12 A very important part of the production is the aseptic packaging of the product. Packaging machines have been developed for this product that are able to mechanically package the product without exposing it to air. The cooled milk is sent to this packaging machine which has a ribbon of flat packaging (cardboard) threaded into it. As the milk runs through the machine, the packaging surrounds the milk and a cutter cuts through the cardboard packaging and the milk, simultaneously folding the package and sealing the milk within it. A machine glues a plastic spout onto the sealed package. From here, the product is sent to an automatic sorter that packs a case and places it on a pallet. A modern factory is able to produce as many as 18,000 packages of soy milk in an hour. Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xLWO4SdOc4 How to make Soy milk and Tofu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GQxJhDL9HA Soy milk dish making: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BodgAM9E4BU
"What is soy milk"