Soya TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is a plant-based protein product that is made from defatted soy flour that has been extruded and processed to create a meat-like texture.
It was first developed in the 1960s by food scientists at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory in Peoria, Illinois, as a way to create a protein-rich food product that could be used as a meat substitute.
The research was conducted in response to the growing demand for plant-based protein sources due to concerns over the environmental and health impacts of meat consumption. At the time, soy protein was seen as a promising alternative, as it was cheap, abundant, and had a high nutritional value.
The first commercial application of TVP was in the early 1970s, when it was used as a filler in processed meats such as sausages and hamburgers. However, it soon gained popularity as a stand-alone vegetarian protein source, particularly among those following a plant-based or vegetarian diet.
Today, TVP is widely used in vegetarian and vegan cooking, as it is a versatile ingredient that can be used to make a variety of meat substitutes, including burgers, meatballs, and sausages. It is also used in other food products such as breakfast cereals, snacks, and pet food.
Despite some concerns over the processing methods used to create TVP and the potential for soy allergies, it remains a popular and widely used plant-based protein source.
After its initial development, TVP was primarily used in institutional food service settings, such as school cafeterias and hospitals, as a way to stretch the protein content of meat dishes. However, as the vegetarian and vegan movements gained momentum in the 1970s and 1980s, TVP began to be marketed as a meat substitute for home cooks.
In the 1990s, the popularity of TVP grew even further as health-conscious consumers sought out protein-rich, low-fat foods. TVP became a popular ingredient in vegetarian convenience foods, such as frozen dinners and veggie burgers.
One of the key advantages of TVP is its low cost compared to animal-based protein sources. It is also a good source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients, making it a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diets. However, some critics of TVP argue that it is heavily processed and may contain additives and preservatives that are not ideal for human health.
Today, TVP is available in a variety of forms, including chunks, granules, and flakes. It is often used as a substitute for ground beef in dishes like chili and spaghetti sauce, and is a common ingredient in vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes such as soy burgers and sausages.
In summary, soya TVP has a long history that dates back to the 1960s, when it was developed as a plant-based protein source. Since then, it has gained popularity as a meat substitute and vegetarian protein source, and is widely used in a variety of food products today.