Essay Preview: Using Tvp
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by Group Leader Melanee Van Ee-Mortensen
Myths and misunderstandings run VERY high about TVPÐ® (Texturized Vegetable Protein). During the last few years lots of things have changed regarding TVPÐ®. This stuff sure “aint what it used to be!!!” TVPÐ® is a food product made from soybeans. It is produced from soy flour after the soybean oil has been extracted, then cooked under pressure, extruded, and dried. TVPÐ® has a long shelf life if stored properly and is an excellent source of protein and fiber. Many public schools use TVPÐ® as a food source in the breakfast and lunch programs. It meets standards of nutrition but is economical as well. Plain TVPÐ® has zero cholesterol. However, some flavor variations do have partially hydrolyzed oil in them for flavor and texture changes. Hydrolyzing the fat extends the shelf life as compared to using vegetable oil. However, even though the fat content is increased in some of the flavored varieties, with such a high fiber content, the balance is still very much on the healthy side — especially if you are making a comparison to ground beef or sausage. For example, Sausage TVPÐ® is 17% fat, but it has an incredible 11% fiber! It is a good source of the essential amino acids, and also contributes calcium and magnesium to ones diet. It can be fortified with vitamins, including Vitamin B12. It is very high in potassium, is a good source of the essential amino acids, and also contributes calcium and magnesium to ones diet. TVPÐ® is dry and has a very low bacterial count. On the other hand, meat products can be easily contaminated with bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella. TVPÐ® contains absolutely no meat or meat byproducts — so those who are on strict vegetarian diets can use this to supplement their protein. TVPÐ® products are also Kosher approved. Storage is a breeze — TVPÐ® can sit in a cupboard in a sealed container for at least a year. If sealed airtight (without oxygen), the shelf life is greatly extended (although, with its great taste and ease of preparation, you wont leave it hiding anywhere for very long!) As always, for the longest storage life it should be kept in a cool, dry place. Due to the moisture in many varieties of TVPÐ®, storage after opening is better in a dry place away from excessive heat.
Price wise, it is very economical and makes an excellent meat substitute in many dishes. After all, you are buying a dry product, and the weight greatly increases with the addition of water. For example, 1 pound of beef dehydrates down to 4 oz of jerky. You are paying for 12 ounces of water per pound of meat when you purchase fresh beef! For another example, a pound of sausage in the grocery store runs between $1.50 to $2.50 depending on how good the sale is. A pound of DRY sausage runs about $1.20, and rehydrated, that would come to a cost of $0.40 per pound. Lean hamburger on the absolute best sales Ive found ran $0.99/lb. Beef TVPÐ® runs $1.55/lb DRY — making it about $0.45 per pound rehydrated. Thats an incredible savings — and no thawing or browning