Soya chunks or also popularly known as meal maker is a textured or texturized vegetable protein which is also known as textured soy protein or soya meat or a nutritious meat extender made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil.
The soya chunks or soya meat or meal maker is quick and easy to cook. Amazingly soya chunks have protein content equal to that of the meat and contain no fat. A variety of delicious dishes could be prepared with the soya chunks or meal maker like you can add them in the pulaos, or make a fantastic masala curry which just taste like a meat curry or either would prepare a yummy pulusu adding other vegetables along with it.
The textured vegetable protein (TVP) is made from a mixture of proteins which is primarily extracted from soybeans, but also cotton seeds, wheat and oats. It is then extruded into various shapes (chunks, flakes, nuggets, grains, and strips) and sizes, exiting the nozzle while still hot and expanding as it does so. The defatted thermoplastic proteins are heated to 150-200° C, which denatures them into a fibrous, insoluble, porous network that can soak up as much as three times its weight in liquids.
As the pressurized molten protein mixture exits the extruder, the sudden drop in pressure causes rapid expansion into a puffy solid that is then dried. As much as 50% protein when dry, TVP can be rehydrated at a 2:1 ratio, which drops the percentage of protein to an approximation of ground meat at 16%. High quality textured vegetable protein can be mixed with ground meat to a ratio of up to 1:3 (rehydrated TVP to meat) without reducing the quality of the final product, sometimes improving it if the meat used is poor.
Textured vegetable protein is primarily used as a meat substitute due to it’s very low cost at less than a third the price of ground beef, and when cooked together will help retain more weight from the meat by absorbing juices normally lost. The soya chunks or meal maker is made from soy flour or concentrate, containing 50% and 70% soy protein respectively, and is flavorless.
Both require rehydration before use, sometimes with flavoring added in the same step. As the textured vegetable protein is extruded, causing a change in the structure of the soy protein which results in a fibrous spongy matrix is similar in texture to meat. In its dehydrated form the soya chunks has a shelf life of longer than a year, but will spoil within several days after being hydrated.
In its flaked form soya chunks or meal maker can be used similar to ground meat. Soya chunks or meal maker is a versatile substance and can be made as a substitute to meat and poultry products and vegetarians can add it with other vegetables and prepare excellent healthy dishes.
Extension may result in diminished flavor, but fat and cholesterol are reduced. Vitamin and mineral fortification can be used to make soy products nutritionally equivalent to animal protein; the protein quality is already roughly equivalent. The soya chunks or meal maker is readily available in most of supermarkets and used widely in many recipes in prisons and schools as they are relatively low in cost, high protein and low fat content and has a long shelf life which allows institutions to buy in bulk.
Soya beans are an excellent source of high protein and fibrous food. After the extraction of soya milk, the soya chunks act as soya meal maker. 50% of the vegetable protein from the soya bean is a good fiber food enabling easy digestion and bowl movement. The meal maker or the Soya chunk is a soft fibrous vegetable matter resembling soft meat in texture.
When soaked and boiled for a couple of minutes it assumes a good volume and improvement in texture. When water is squeezed afterwards, the meal maker becomes ready to perform to act in various forms in diner’s plate. The squeezed and cooked Soya meal maker could be converted into various delicacies by simple means. Dishes as soya vada or parothas are also prepared with soya chunks.
Soya Chunks contain 54.2 grams of protein, which exceeds the amount of protein found in meats, eggs, milk and wheat. Soy protein contains all the amino acids needed by the body, and is an excellent replacement for meat-based proteins. Animal proteins are generally higher in saturated fats.
It is also said that the soy protein in soya chunks may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in menopausal women, and may also ease other menopausal symptoms. Similar claims have been made about soy in general, due to the fact that soy contains phytoestrogens, which may have hormonal activity.
However, there is insufficient information to support these claims, and soy protein is not considered a medical treatment for osteoporosis or menopausal symptoms. Soy is high in fiber, which is known to benefit cholesterol levels, and can indirectly lower cholesterol by replacing fatty animal proteins in the diet.
Soy protein in general is rich in B vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to benefit many aspects of health. Soya Chunks contain 533 milligrams of calcium and 21.2 grams of iron. Whole soy foods also are a good source of fiber, B vitamins, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. The nutritional values per 100g of soya chunks or meal maker are: Energy value: 336 k cal Protein: 54.2 g Fat: 0.4 g Carbohydrate: 28.9 g Calcium: 533 mg Iron: 21.2 mg