The Healthy Alternative
Canadian soybeans, a nutritious source of protein, are a growing favourite on the world stage, especially in Asia. Soybean production is concentrated in the central province of Ontario but new varieties developed by Canadian researchers are making it possible to grow them in other parts of the country as well. Canada exports well over $1 billion worth of soybeans annually.
Kitchen connections and more
Soy flour, soy protein and soy oil are ingredients in hundreds of commercially prepared foods that include margarine, beverages, cheeses, cake mixes, soups, candies, meat alternatives and frozen desserts. At home, any cook can prepare unique and tasty dishes using Canadian soy products, from applesauce cakes baked with soy flour, to miso soup made from soy oil, to a Mexican salad created with canned Canadian soybeans and corn.
Soy foods can be extremely healthy because soybeans contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, unsaturated fats and protein—in fact, soy protein is nearly as high in quality as the proteins in milk and meat. At the same time, soybeans are good for heart health because they have no cholesterol and are very low in the saturated fats that contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Soy products can also be ideal for people who are lactose-intolerant and can't consume conventional dairy products. Soy milk, for example, is an excellent source of protein, B-vitamins and iron, and can be fortified to provide the same levels of calcium as cow's milk.
But Canadian soy doesn't end up only in human foods. Much of the soy meal that remains after the beans are crushed for oil is used as healthy protein in animal feed, while some of the oil goes to non-food products such as soap and cosmetics. Soy oil is also a source of biodiesel fuel, which has been used commercially in Canada since 2001.
Innovation and excellence
While soy foods have been around for many centuries, there's always room for on-going research. Canadian soybean breeders specialize in developing new varieties of high-quality, food-grade beans for customers around the world. We rely on the federal government's Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) to ensure that we provide our customers with the world's best product. The CGC defines grading standards for our soybeans and ensures that these standards are rigorously applied to every year's harvest.
CGC also oversees the Canadian Identity-Preserved Recognition System (CIPRS), which helps segregate premium varieties of soybeans to make specific products, such as tofu, miso, or soy beverages. Canadian food scientists and soybean geneticists routinely consult national and international soyfood processors to explore new requirements, from protein and sugar content to water uptake, soymilk yield and tofu yield. And to make certain that all Canadian soy-based foods are safe, they're closely monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Taste the Canadian difference
Produced to rigorous standards, Canada's soybeans and soy products offer the best in quality and nutrition. For more information about our soybean industry, please visit:
- Agri-Food Trade Service—Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Canadian Grain Commission
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Soy Canada
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