Most isoflavones on the market can only be used in supplements as they are not soluble. However with increasing evidence of the health benefits of the soy compounds, Solbar has seen increasing demand from food manufacturers looking to formulate products with added nutritional value.
"The isoflavone content is very small in regular soy protein but the latest indications suggest that you need both for the health benefits," Karina Bedrack, Solbar regional sales manager for Europe, told NutraIngredients.com.
"More and more large dairy companies are looking to enter this market. We are expecting demand to increase," she said.
Solbar's new product Solgen 3/S, to be launched at HiE next month, is more 'economical' than the regular soy isoflavones, added Bedrack, to suit the highly competitive food industry.
Soya-based drinks and desserts and meat-free and tofu products showed double figure growth in 2003, reaching a value of €1.5 billion, according to data from Prosoy. And the market is expected to continue growing like this between 2004 and 2006.
"The demand for soya-based milks, yoghurts and desserts is growing as a result of changes in lifestyle, growing food intolerance and allergies, as well as the positive health image of soya," said Gerard Klein Essink, senior researcher at Prosoy Research & Strategy.
Solgen 3/S, which is highly soluble at a neutral pH, typically contains 3 per cent total isoflavones with high levels of genistein and daidzein.
At the Soy and Health Conference in Bruges earlier this month, Dr Stephen Atkin of Hull University in the UK presented results showing that a combination of soy isoflavones and soy protein (found in Glycosoy, a product created by Dr Atkins), has a positive affect on insulin resistance, glycaemic control and cardiovascular risk markers in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes.
"Our successes in the dietary supplement and cosmeceutical categories have proven to us the long-term potential for soy isoflavones. This is not a passing fad, but an important contribution to women's health," noted Bedrack.
Solbar is currently the third largest supplier of soy proteins to the food industry. All of its products are certified by CERT ID as non-GMO IP.