SunOpta markets whole grain soy ingredient

Related tags Soybean Opta food ingredients

Canadian firm SunOpta last week signed an agreement with MicroSoy
of Jefferson, Iowa to market its toasted soy flake ingredients in
the North American market.

The NASDAQ registered company​ was created in 2003 through the fusion of Stake Technology and Opta Food Ingredients and has positioned itself as an ethical business focussing on the natural and organic markets. To this end, it said that the flakes are produced with whole grain soy and without the use of chemicals or solvents.

The flakes are designed for use in breakfast items such as hot and cold cereals, breakfast bars and pancake mixes, entree items such as cream-based soups, mashed potatoes and tofu and dessert items such as cookies, soy-cheese cake, pie crusts and toppings for ice creams.

"Food manufacturers are looking for new ingredients that make their final products not only taste great but also provide as many health benefits as possible,"​ said Terry Tanaka, president of MicroSoy.

The company believes that whole soybeans deliver more of the nutritional components that supply the apparent health benefits of soy, such as the proteins that reduce cholesterol and the isoflavones that may reduce the risk of some types of cancer.

"In the past, companies have had to rely on fractionalized, harshly processed, nutrient-deficient soy for baking and related applications. However, the arrangement with MicroSoy allows us to provide an expanded group of soy ingredient offerings with the nutrition and taste necessary to create a successful product,"​ said Allan Routh, president of the grains and soy products group.

The company continued to expand its share of the market last year with, for example, the aquisition of the Californian firm Organic Ingredients​ in September, and the expansion of its high fiber ingredients plant in Minnesota.

Driven by increasing consumer demand for low-carbohydrate foods and the growing popularity of high fibre food products, the facility extension means the 800-strong company can now process almost two-thirds more fiber than the year before.

The company announced record revenue growth in November 2004 for the third quarter, up by 59 percent to $80,142,000 compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

However, SunOpta added that a poor quality soybean crop plus low yields in 2003, meant the company's specialty beans purchase contracts were insufficient to meet sales contracts late in the third quarter, resulting in a 20 percent decrease in grain revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 2004.

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