Japanese food manufacturer Morinaga Milk Industry Co. has reported its intention of boosting its US tofu business to fulfil a surge in demand for the soy-based foodstuff, which is growing in popularity as a healthy alternative source of protein.

Morinaga has earmarked ¥700m (US$5.93) in joint venture with a US partners to launch production lines for new tofu products. The Japanese group already sells ¥1.8bn worth of tofu products in the US every year, but it hopes to see this rise by 80%, reported Nikkei Weekly.

Soy was one of the first foods to gain official recognition from the US Food & Drug Administration that it can help prevent heart disease, back in 1999, since when its popularity has been soaring.

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