Water soluble soybean polysaccharide (SSPS) is a useful dietary fiber extracted from the cell walls of soybean cotyledons (Cui, 2001). A commercially useful source is fibrous bean curd residue, known as okara, that is a byproduct of the soymilk, tofu and soybean protein isolate industry (Maeda, 2000).
Soy fiber has been claimed to have a number of benefits associated with dietary fiber. These are cholesterol lowering, improvement in gut transit of food and in laxation as well as reducing the risk of diabetes and of developing metabolic syndrome (Shorey et al., 1985). It has potential as a prebiotic in a range of foods especially the dairy market.
SSPS is highly soluble in cold water. It has a lower viscosity compared to certain gums such as guar although this may not be an advantage as a thickener in gels. It has reasonable stability at acid pH, to heat and salt (Maeda, 2000). It can be homogenised so is a possible fiber ingredient in dairy beverages, ice-creams and yogurt. When used in as a fiber in fortified dairy beverages, it appears to be ideal from a sensory perspective at levels of between 3% and 5% w/w although 6% w/w is possible (Chen et al., 2010).
The structure is a galacturonic acid backbone comprising rhamnogalaturonan and homogalacturonan sugars. It also contains homogeneous galactosyl and arabinosyl neutral sugar side chains, which are longer than the galacturonosyl main backbone.
Buriti, F.C.A., Bedani, R., Saad, S.M. (2016) Chapter 23 – Probiotic and Prebiotic Dairy Desserts. In: Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics. Bioactive Foods in Health Promotion. Academic Press. pp. 345-360 (Article)
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