USA: New Soy Products Head to Grocer Shelves; More Than 300 Expected This Year, Then 500
As many as 500 food products with added soy protein are on their way to grocery store shelves, according to estimates by marketing leaders.Peter Golbitz, head of an information company in Bar Harbor, Me., specializing in the soybean industry, told Food Processing Magazine that he expects more than 300 new soy food products to reach the marketplace this year, and that the number will later increase to more than 500.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year approved a health statement for soy foods that can be applied to product labels -- that 25 grams of soy protein consumed daily as part of a low-fat diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease.Although the number of soy products finding their way to grocers had been gaining prior to the FDA action, the government agency's approval of the health statement spurred the number of foods receiving added soy protein, marketers said.The FDA approval will be a "great selling point" for soy consumption, particularly by women, Clare Hasler of the University of Illinois told Food Processing Magazine. Hasler, who is executive director of the university's Functional Foods for Health program, noted particularly soy's role in reducing menopausal discomfort, which she said increases women's interest in soy in addition to soy's health effects against heart disease."Although the soy health claim isn't gender specific -- it's for heart health -- because of women's knowledge of soy and menopause, women are more interested in buying soy," Hasler said.She cited "eight to l2 clinical trials on soy and menopause," but said that most of the studies are too short to show effects. Longer studies, those lasting more than three months, show that soy eases menopausal symptoms for women who consume 50 milligrams of soy daily, she said.
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