Organic Soy vs Textured Vegetable Protein
What’s the difference?
Organic textured soy is made by removing soybean oils using a natural water process*, then cooking, extruding and drying ground soy which is later re-hydrated in water (and organic apple cider vinegar). It is not processed with any chemicals and there is no unnatural residue.
*most non-organic soy (aka: soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate or textured vegetable protein) is processed in hexane.
Hexane is classified as an air pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and as a neurotoxin by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chronic exposure to hexane in factory workers has been linked to some neurological conditions, but it’s unclear whether consuming trace residues long term is a health hazard. It’s even unclear how much hexane, if any, remains in the food after processing, because the FDA does not monitor hexane in foods, nor does it require companies to test for it.
According to the Soyfoods Association of North America, hexane is used only in the initial steps of soy processing, and virtually all of it is eliminated by the time the soy ingredients are incorporated into soy burgers and other products. Testing by Swiss scientists found that the majority of vegetable oils sampled had no detectable levels—and those that did fell below the tolerance limit set by the European Union.
On the other hand, independent testing commissioned by the nonprofit Cornucopia Institute created a stir a couple of years ago when it found hexane residues in soy oil, as well as in soy grits and soy meal. Since its report, several companies have switched to safer and more environmentally friendly hexane-free soy protein ingredients.
Tofuna Fysh uses organic soy.