Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Research Finds Novel Method of Improving Gelling and Texture Properties of Soy Yogurt

Chinese researchers have developed a new approach to improving the properties of soy yogurt through different processing techniques.

The study investigated the impact of three factors — the soybean proteins 7S and 11S, homogenization pressure, and glycation modified with glucose — on the gelling of soy yogurt. Homogenization is the process of making two non-soluble liquids the same throughout, while glycation involves attaching a sugar to a protein through covalent bonding (the sharing of electron pairs between atoms).

The results indicate that using a 7S/11S globulin-glucose conjugate at a 1:3 ratio, combined with a homogenization pressure of 110 MPa, significantly improves the properties of soy yogurt. The resulting product has better characteristics than soy yogurts made using additives such as pectin or maltodextrin.

“These findings provide valuable insights into advancing plant protein gels and serve as a reference for cultivating new soybean varieties by soybean breeding experts,” say the researchers.

© Vitasoy

Large market share

Research indicates that the vegan yogurt market is already worth $2.45 billion, and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 19.87% through to 2030. Growth is expected to be particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region, due to high rates of lactose intolerance.

Soy yogurts have the largest market share, and the researchers behind the new study note that soy has significant advantages due to its affordability and health benefits. Another report, published in 2022, predicted that the vegan yogurt market would more than double in size by 2032.

One notable producer of soy yogurts is Europe’s Alpro, which has offered several varieties — including flavors with no added sugar, Greek-style yogurt, and single-serving pots — for many years. Another is Hong Kong-based Vitasoy, which launched a range of soy-based dairy-free Greek yogurts in Australia in 2022.

“This new product has been many years in the making, and it is a great testament to our strong commitment to innovation and sustainable development, bringing to the market a richer variety of tasty, nutritious plant-based products,” said Mr. Roberto Guidetti, CEO of Vitasoy, at the time.

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